Thursday, July 25, 2024

New Satellite Coral Reef Monitoring System Is Now Online


A new satellite-based coal reef monitoring system went live this week.

The system was released by the folks at the Allen Coral Atlas, made up of five partners: Arizona State University, Vulcan Inc., University of Queensland, Planet, and National Geographic.

The new system sees changes in the brightness of reefs via high-res satellite photos using an algorithm that shows if rising water temperatures are putting reefs under stress. Consequently, scientists are now able to find out which corals around the world are suffering from bleaching:

“This monitoring system works alongside the Atlas’ reef extent and composition maps, which feature crucial reef data such as benthic habitat maps, geomorphic zone maps and quarterly turbidity. Together, the full suite of Atlas tools provides a comprehensive and unprecedented picture of coral reef change over time. Armed with this new information, the coral community will be better equipped to actively respond to coral reef threats with targeted conservation efforts in the most vulnerable areas.”

According to Dr. Greg Asner, Managing Director of the Allen Coral Atlas and Director of the Arizona State University Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science:

“Our ability to monitor changes in coral reef condition has always been a clear but challenging requirement to drive decisions on where to apply our best restorative and protective strategies. The new Atlas Monitoring System is a major step in our effort to bring eyes to the reef at a global scale and yet with extraordinary detail needed for progressive reef interventions.”

For more info, check out the Allen Coral Atlas website.

(Image credit: Allen Coral Atlas)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.