Short Talk (7,5 mins) - Edits Required Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

The Australian Shallow Water Ecosystem Substratum Spectral Library – now Online and FAIR (#127)

Arnold G Dekker 1 2 3 , Eric Hay 4 , Stephen Sagar 4 , Janet Anstee 2 , Hannelie Botha 2 , Chris Roelfsema 3 , Stuart Phinn 3 , Sue Fyfe 5 , Laurie Chisholm 6 , Nicole Pinnel 7 , Halina Kobryn 8 , Daniel Ierodiaconou 9 , Matt Harvey 10 , Lyndon Llewellyn 11 , Nicolas Pucino 9 , Tiit Kutser 12 , Karen Joyce 13
  1. SatDek, Sutton, NSW, Australia
  2. Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  3. University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland, Australia
  4. Geoscience Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  5. Parks, Island and Biodiversity Science Branch, , Dep. Of the Environment and Energy, Canberra, ACT, Australia
  6. School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  7. Earth Observation Center, German Aerospace Laboratories, Wessling, Bayern, Germany
  8. Murdoch University, Murdoch, West Australia, Australia
  9. Deakin University, Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia
  10. Ocean Vision Environmental Research, Fremantle, West Australia, Australia
  11. AIMS, Cape Cleveland, Queensland, Australia
  12. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  13. TropWATER, James Cook University Nguma-bada Campus, Smithfield, Queensland, Australia

Australia’s coasts need monitoring and assessment. Combining drone to spaceborne remote sensing images with a curated aquatic spectral library (including detailed metadata) will enable systematic mapping and monitoring of optically shallow water seabed ecosystems, benefitting marine scientists through to policymakers. The release of this spectral library resource aligns with other significant developments in the Australian aquatic EO community, including the Australian AquaWatch program – a dedicated inland and coastal water in-situ, modelling and Earth observation system- jointly led by the SmartSat CRC and CSIRO.

The Australian Shallow Water Ecosystem Substratum Spectral Library is a feature of the recently released Australian National Spectral Database (NSD) service:  one of the analysis ready data initiatives being developed at Geoscience Australia in the Digital Earth Australia (DEA) program.

We accessed spectral libraries from government and academic institutes to capture inter- to sub-tidal seabed features from estuaries to coral reefs. We attributed the spectral data with appropriate meta-data in a community-accessible form. The library contains ~3600 spectra, covering coral, macro- and micro-algae, seagrasses, and related substrata in temperate to tropical inlets, estuaries and reefs ranging from the Great Barrier and Ningaloo Reefs, Coral Sea and the Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane Coastal Waters.

We provide harmonisation of measurement protocols, and a spectral library metadata template. This can be used to validate and parameterise models including intra-species, interspecies, and substratum type variability. We consider this spectral library metadata to be one of the most complete metadata descriptions available and can significantly improve further spectral measurements as new users/developers/scientists realise what is required to optimise their data under the FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability, although we are working on further improvements

This spectral library supports collating, sharing, discovering and re-using existing spectra, facilitates the capture of new datasets, and improves our benthic mapping and monitoring capabilities. A recently established working group sponsored by the International Ocean Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG) on Benthic Reflectance intends to produce a comprehensive report about the theory and measurement techniques for estimating benthic reflectance. This Australian Shallow water ecosystem spectral library and related work will contribute to the success of this international working group that has several Australian co-authors involved.