Tassi, A. & Gil, A. (2020) A low-cost Sentinel-2 data and Rao’s Q diversity index-based application for detecting, assessing and monitoring coastal land-cover/land-use changes at high spatial resolution.Journal of Coastal Research, 95, 1315-1319. DOI:10.2112/SI95-253.1 (IF2019 1,374; Q4 Environmental Sciences)
Coastal zones in small oceanic islands as the Archipelago of the Azores (Portugal) are very sensitive territories severely threatened by climate change, natural disasters, biological invasions, infrastructure and tourism development, and also agriculture intensification. Land-cover/land-use changes are one of the most relevant indicators for monitoring and assessing coastal spatial planning and management policies in insular territories. This paper describes the application of a low-cost Rao's Q diversity index-based remote sensing tool able to provide a systematic and accurate coastal land-cover/land-use monitoring system in small oceanic islands, using free and open access Sentinel-2 multispectral satellite data and Terceira island (Archipelago of the Azores, Portugal) as the case-study area. Results indicate that about 7% (∼300 hectares) of Terceira Island's coastal zone (∼4290 hectares) have changed their land-cover/ land-use between March 2017 and December 2018 (21 months). Agricultural areas (4.1%), urban areas (2.1%) and bare soil areas (0.6%) are the categories showing more relevant changes.