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Spectrographic imaging

A bird's-eye view of the health of coral reefs

Naturevolume 413page36 (2001) | Download Citation



Almost three-quarters of the world's coral reefs are thought to be deteriorating as a consequence of environmental stress. Until now, it has been possible to evaluate reef health only by field survey, which is labour-intensive and time-consuming. Here we map live coral cover from the air by remote imaging, a technique that will enable the state of shallow reefs to be monitored swiftly and over large areas.

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Author information


  1. Department of Marine Sciences and Coastal Management, Tropical Coastal Management Studies, Ridley Building, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

    • Peter J. Mumby
    •  & John D. Hedley
  2. Observatoire Océanologique Européen, Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Avenue Saint-Martin, Monaco, 98000, Monaco

    • John R. M. Chisholm
    •  & Jean Jaubert
  3. Department of Geography and Sheffield Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

    • Chris D. Clark
  4. Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, 1504 East Grand River, East Lansing, 48823, Michigan, USA

    • Jean Jaubert


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Correspondence to Peter J. Mumby.

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