The importance of mangrove conservation in tsunami prone regions

October 30, 2007

Agricultural expansion rather than shrimp farming is the major factor responsible for the destruction of tropical mangrove forests in the tsunami-impacted regions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography.

Giri and other researchers used more than 750 Landsat satellite images to identify the remaining mangrove forests of the region, to quantify the rates and causes of change from 1975 to 2005, and to identify deforestation 'hot spots,'. Landsat is the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based land remote sensing data. The study found that the major factors responsible for mangrove deforestation in the study area include agriculture encroachment (81%), aquaculture (12%), and urban development (2%). However, shrimp farming is on the rise in Indonesia and Thailand.

Time-series analysis of historical data from the Landsat archive also suggests that the tsunami-impacted region lost 12% of the mangrove forests from 1975 to 2005, much lower than estimated mangrove loss in Asia, which ranges from 25 to 50%. According to Giri and the other researchers, mangrove loss varies according to country and time period. Their study found that the annual rate of deforestation was highest in Burma (~1%) and lowest in Sri Lanka (0.1%) from 1975 to 2005. In contrast, mangrove forests in India and Bangladesh remained unchanged or gained a small percentage during the period. Similarly, net deforestation peaked at 137,000 ha during 1990-2000, increasing from 97,000 ha during 1975-1990 and declining to 14,000 ha during 2000-2005.

Data and information generated from this study can be used to identify potential rehabilitation sites, set conservation priorities, and quantify the role of mangrove forests in saving lives and property from natural disasters such as the Asian tsunami.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Related Tsunami Articles from Brightsurf:

Landslide along Alaskan fjord could trigger tsunami
Scientists noted that the slope on Barry Arm fjord on Prince William Sound in southeastern Alaska slid some 120 meters from 2010 to 2017, a slow-moving landslide caused by glacial melt that could trigger a devastating tsunami.

Scientists improve model of landslide-induced tsunami
MIPT researchers Leopold Lobkovsky and Raissa Mazova, and their young colleagues from Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University have created a model of landslide-induced tsunamis that accounts for the initial location of the landslide body.

Rethinking tsunami defense
Careful engineering of low, plant-covered hills along shorelines can mitigate tsunami risks with less disruption of coastal life and lower costs compared to seawalls.

'Tsunami' on a silicon chip: a world first for light waves
A collaboration between the University of Sydney Nano Institute and Singapore University of Technology and Design has for the first time manipulated a light wave, or photonic information, on a silicon chip that retains its overall 'shape'.

Tsunami signals to measure glacier calving in Greenland
Scientists have employed a new method utilizing tsunami signals to calculate the calving magnitude of an ocean-terminating glacier in northwestern Greenland, uncovering correlations between calving flux and environmental factors such as air temperature, ice speed, and ocean tides.

Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks
The central Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest is bounded by two active fault zones that could trigger rockfalls and slumps of sediment that might lead to tsunamis, according to a presentation at the 2019 SSA Annual Meeting.

Heading towards a tsunami of light
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation.

Paradigm shift needed for designing tsunami-resistant bridges
Researchers argue in a new study that a paradigm shift is needed for assessing bridges' tsunami risk.

How large can a tsunami be in the Caribbean?
The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has researchers reevaluating whether a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami might also be a likely risk for the Caribbean region, seismologists reported at the SSA 2018 Annual Meeting.

Preparing for the 'silver tsunami'
Case Western Reserve University law professor suggests how to address nation's looming health-care and economic crisis caused by surging baby-boom population.

Read More: Tsunami News and Tsunami Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to