|Paper title||PLACE – Protecting Landscapes through ACtions for hEritage|
|Form of presentation||Poster|
Nowadays, Cultural and Natural Heritage are more and more endangered due to a wide list of factors. Climate change consequences, as sudden and heavy rains and floods, together with ground deformation and human activities consequences, are increasingly frequent worldwide. In particular, marine landscapes and protected areas are widely ignored and less monitored due to daily difficulties in monitoring the legal and illegal vessel traffic, and they are at risk of human induced hazards derived by vessel daily activities and traffic: let imagine tankers cleaning or disasters affecting the natural habitats and `areas close to coasts. The evaluation of maritime traffic is then the main impacting factor for those natural areas in open seas and coasts. Unfortunately, the use of satellite images only is not enough valuable for those type of monitoring activities and several data sources need to be integrated and properly identified to support decision makers and planners worldwide.
In the frame of the PLACE initiative, the present work focuses on setting the basis of a tool that take into consideration several data sources at European scale and provide a set of information layers for decision makers and planners, taking into account also the natural impact on the marine environment caused by maritime traffic.
The main data sources for this study are Sentinel-1 (C-band) at different polarizations VV and VH and both Ascending and Descending orbits, European marine vessel density maps from the European Marine Observation and Data Network” (EMODnet), European marine Natural protected areas identified in Natura 2000, OSM maps, QGIS for raster and vector data visualization and overlays and Google Earth Engine to process time series of Sentinel 1 data. The idea is to generate and combine different information layers in order to have a clear understanding of which are the natural protected areas affected by the maritime vessel traffic in European fragile sites and demonstrate the scalability of the technologies used from local to Regional and Worldwide scale.Two Local, one Regional and One European use cases have been identified: at local scale the UNESCO site of the Venetian Lagoon and its Adriatic coast, and the Valencia Baleares Sea sites. At Regional scale the Nord Sea area and at European scale the European Coast. Based on these preliminary use cases studies, we started from the combined generation of the sea lanes by computing the maximum of each pixel across a time series of Sentinel-1 images through the use of Google Earth Engine catalogue and processing capabilities. Then, the traffic map using GEE has been imported in QGIS and compared to European marine vessel density maps (for Tankers and Cargos), and overlaid with the European Marine Natural protected areas maps and OSM maps. The information gathered allows to identify the most congested routes and the most impacted areas in order to provide valuable information layers to decision makers in maritime and coast planning, to better address economic resources to the proper mitigation measures for the preservation of natural sites.