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Shark Bay

This project is funded by a Caring for our Country grant (Link: We are collaborating with UWA, CSIRO and WAMSI. The RSSRG contribution is to provide remotely sensed environmental data.
A field campaign extending from 16th May to 26th May 2011 was undertaken to support an airborne hyperspectral surveys of selected regions at Shark Bay. Associated with the airborne hyperspectral surveys were land and water-based validation and spectral library data collection activities. Unfortunately instrument failure, storms, flooding and fog delayed the arrival of the aircraft at Shark Bay. The surface based data collection (terrestrial and boat) extended from the 16th May to the 22nd May. Airborne data collection began on the 21st May and extended to the 26th May.


Figure 1, below, shows the extent of all flights undertaken during the campaign. Data collected during the flights included AISA EAGLE Hyperspectral, LIDAR and digital photography.

Shark Bay
Figure 1. Flight patterns undertaken during the May 2011 airborne Hyperspectral survey of Shark Bay are indicated in red.
  • 21 May 20 km Hyperspectral transect flight from Monkey Mia, SSE over shallow and deep water. The boat with echo sounder and DALEC was positioned along the transect to collect coincident ground truth and calibration data.
  • 22 May Flights over Monkey Mia ground targets to collect calibration targets.
  • 23 May
  • 24 May Hamelin Pool Coastal with Lidar and hyperspectral. Then the high cloud had temporarily disappeared and we did some Faure Sill transects. We also did the transects over Monkey Mia.
  • 25 May First another 750m swath of the lidar, then a 1.3km swath of the EAGLE – no cloud.
  • 26 May Faure Sill transects under cloudless conditions – 6 hours 15 minutes.

Boat-based Measurements

In situ hyperspectral data were collected using a DALEC hyperspectral radiometer mounted on a small boat. The boat was fitted with an echo sounder which logged water depth continuously. Hyperspectral reflectance and bathymetry data were collected over the Faure Sill. When the aircraft was airborne and undertaking survey work on the 21st May, the boat was positioned along the flight path of the plane to collect coincident validation and calibration data. In addition, water samples were collected from the Wooramel River outflow for analysis to determine total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations. These data will assist in developing a calibrated TSS remote sensing algorithm.

  • 16 May Equipment tests of Denham.
  • 17 May Faure Sill
  • 18 May Faure Sill
  • 19 May Bad weather.
  • 20 May Wooramel River mouth, DALEC and TSS samples
  • 21 May 20 km transect from Monkey Mia SSE to collect ground truth and calibration data under the aircraft.

Terrestial Data

In situ spectral reflectance of terrestrial targets were collected by a ground team using an ASD field spectrometer. These data will be used to classify the terrestrial components of the airborne hyperspectral data.

  • 16 May ASD and photography at Shell Beach and surrounding regions.
  • 17 May ASD and photography at southern tip of Hamelin Pool beach and surrounding vegetation (Nanga fence line).
  • 18 May ASD, photography and UHI at algal mats and stromatelites.
  • 19 May Bad weather.
  • 20 May
  • 21 May ASD, photography and UHI at stromatolites.
  • 22 May ASD, photography at Monkey Mia ground targets.