Geoinformatics in mangrove monitoring: Damage and recovery after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang Nga, Thailand

D. Kamthonkiat, C. Rodfai, A. Saiwanrungkul, S. Koshimura, M. Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, it has been proven that mangrove ecosystems provide protection against coastal disasters by acting as bioshields. Satellite data have been effectively used to detect, assess, and monitor the changes in mangroves during the pre- and post- tsunami periods. However, not much information regarding mangrove restoration or reforestation is available. Rather than undertaking time-consuming fieldwork, this study proposed using geoinformatic technologies such as Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information System (GIS), and Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor the mangrove recovery. The analysis focused only on the tsunami-impacted mangrove areas along the western coast of the Tai Muang, Takuapa and Khuraburi Districts of Phang Nga Province, southern region of Thailand. The results consisted of 2 parts, first: the supervised classification of main land uses, namely forest, mangrove, agricultural land, built-up area, bare soil, water body, and miscellaneous covers in ASTER images, was conducted using the maximum likelihood method with higher than 75 % for overall accuracy. Once the confusion between classes was improved in post-processing, the accuracy of mangrove class was greater than 85 % for all dates. The results showed that the mangrove area in 2005 was reduced by approximately 5 % (1054.5 ha) from 2003 due to the impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Although the recovery program (replacing the same species of dead mangrove trees, mainly the Rhizophora apiculata Bl and Rhizophora mucronata Poir, in situ) had started by mid-2005, the areas gradually decreased to approximately 7-8 % in 2006 and 2010 compared with the reference year of 2003. Second, the recovery trend was observed in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) fluctuation curve and the supporting field survey data. The recovery patterns were summarized into 2 categories: (i) gradually recovery, and (ii) fluctuating recovery. The gradually recovery category that implied the homogeneous pattern or uniform reforestation was observed in the seriously damaged area where most of the mangrove trees were swept away during the tsunami. This pattern covered approximately 50.35 % of the total reforested area. The NDVI time series of the uniform or homogeneous reforested mangrove at the sampled plots has gradually increased after 2005. The fluctuating recovery category that implied the heterogeneous pattern or non-uniform reforestation was observed in partially damaged areas where some of the mangrove trees were swept away and broken but still some trees were remained in the area. The heterogeneous patterns covered approximately 49.65 % of the total reforested area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851-1862
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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