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Coastal Zone Mapping and Monitoring




  • Mapping & Monitoring the Coastal Zone
  • Vital /Critical Habitats - Mangroves

            Monitoring of the entire Indian coast at 1:25,000 scale, at an initial interval of ten years ( database already available through earlier mapping is of 1990-93, hence inventory taken up  shows the condition of ten years - using 2002/2003 data).  Later on  mapping and regular monitoring is proposed to be done at  five years interval (2007/2008).

            The maps are generated using the classification system already developed and the maps are mapped for all wetland areas (between LTL-HTL) and areas upto marine influence, i.e. shorelands.

            Developing the methodology to prepare coastal zone maps  on cadastral level at 1:5000 scale for implementation of CRZ at the field level using CARTOSAT/LISS IV data.

            Preparation of  maps on 1:5000 scale showing HTL and LTL and coastal wetland / land use categories upto 500 m from HTL, using CARTOSAT/LISS IV data.




Remote sensing data has been used in inventorying, mapping, monitoring and recently for the management and development planning of the optimum sustainable  utilization of natural resources.  Due to its repetitive, multi-spectral and synoptic nature, RS data has proved to be extremely useful in providing information on various components of the coastal environment, viz., coastal wetland conditions.  mangrove degradation, coastal landforms and shoreline changes, tidal boundaries, brackish water areas, suspended sediment dynamics, coastal currents, air pollution, etc.  Using multicultural satellite data, the coastal habitats of the entire Indian coast were mapped on 1:250,000 / 1,50:000 scale for creating baseline information

            Similarly, RS data has been successfully used to map the India coast for Regulation of the Coastal Zone on 1:25,000 scale.  The MOEF, Govt. of India, has authorized Space Applications Centre, as one of the agencies for demarcating High Tide Line (HTL)  and Low Tide Line (LTL)  in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) using RS data.  Usefulness of RS data has also been demonstrated for mapping the mangroves at community level and for mapping live and dead corals.



a. Mapping and Monitoring of Coastal Zone:

            Databases have already been generated on the Indian coastal zone (coastal habitats, coral and mangrove ecosystems and improved accuracy in delineating shoreline-changes) using different remote sensing sensors. Coastal wetland maps for the entire Indian coast have been generated on 1:250,000 (1986), 1:50,000 (1990-93) and 1:25,000 (1988-90) scales.  As extensive development has taken place in most of the coastal areas, altering the coastal habitat extent as well as conditions and the landscape, degrading the coastal/ marine resources. Hence, periodic monitoring is required of the Indian coastal zone.

            For regulating development activities, the coastal stretches within 500 m of HTL of the landward side are classified into, CRZ-I, II, III, IV.  Coastal land use maps have been prepared using satellite data on 1:25,000 scale (1988-90) for the entire Indian coast and the same have been used for generation of the coastal zone management plan by the concerned state departments.  These maps are mostly valuable for regional level development.  Periodic monitoring of the coast for regulation is required.

            For implementing the management plans a need was also felt to generate local level maps.  Resourcesat and Cartosat along with IKONOS would help in generating these local level maps (at 1:5000 scales).  Stereo viewing capabilities of CARTOSAT would greatly help in generating local level information.

            There are   two components of the mapping and monitoring of the coastal zone, viz., Inventory and Monitoring  and the Local Level Mapping


b. Inventory and Monitoring

1.      Monitoring of the entire Indian coast at 1:25,000 scale, at an initial interval of ten years (as the database already available  is  of 1990-93 and present  inventory of ten years-using 2002/2003 data).  After this mapping regular monitoring would be done at five years interval (2007/2008).


            The maps are to be generated using the classification system and  mapped for all wetland areas (between LTL-HTL) and areas upto marine influence, i.e. shorelands.


Study Area and Data Requirement

            Entire Indian coast upto 500 m from HTL was  mapped at 1:25,000 scale using IRS P6 LISS III and LISS IV data (one-time).  As far as possible data of low tidal condition is used as most of the coastal wetlands get maximum exposure during low tidal condition.  The satellite data of December – February is chosen in most cases to  take care of reproductive cycle of vegetation present in wetland areas.  Around 1000 scenes of IRS P6 LISS III and LISS IV at 1:25,000 scale which  cover the entire Indian coast is used.  Digital database of existing coastal thematic maps is  used as base map.


            The repetitive nature of the satellite data helps in monitoring the coast very effectively, therefore, earlier data along with current and future data can be used.  Both visual and digital techniques are  employed for mapping.

            Detailed  updating of present land use / land cover pattern, both micro  level resource survey and landform – natural processes interaction study  is  required before policy formulation for sustainable development.  The land use / land cover is , therefore, mapped with special emphasis on built-up areas , tidal wetlands and sand/ rock mining areas, on 1:25,000 scale using IRS LISS III / LISS IV data .  The Indian coastal habitat is   mapped (about 1000 maps for the entire Indian coast) upto 500 m from HTL and monitored at an interval of five years (at 1:25,000 scale).  Existing maps generated for Coastal Regulation Zone at 1:25,000 scale using 1988-89 data is digitized and kept as a database.

Project Deliverables: 

Land use/land cover statistics is generated category wise and toposheet wise.  Thus a comprehensive database is generated and the area under various categories of coastal land use / land cover was estimated.




  • Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India
  • Pollution Control Board
  • Defense Ministry
  • Urban Development Department
  • NGOs
Quantum of work: 
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Results and Project Outputs: 
LandUse LandCoverapplication/pdf icon(742.56 KB )
Results and Project Outputs: