The Urban and Wetland Remote Sensing Group (UWRSG) is affiliated to the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science (ISEIS), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Our research interests are mainly on remote sensing of mangrove forests and urban impervious surface with multiple sources of satellite and ground observation data.
Mangrove forests are ecosystems of considerable ecological, biological and socioeconomic significance as: 1) vital habitats for a wide variety of animal and plants species, 2) important sources of carbon for detritus-based food webs in adjacent coastal waters, 3) a means of reducing the erosion of shorelines, and 4) buffers against the impact of storm waves and floods. However, mangrove forests have been significantly eroded over the past century due to various human activities such as agriculture conversion, urbanization and tourism. Unfortunately, mangrove forests cover has rapidly decreased in the past few decades due to increasing agricultural exploitation and infrastructural development such as new highways and airport as well as associated construction.
Urban impervious surfaces, as the major land surface modification of rapid urbanization in many metropolitans in the past decades, have been widely recognized as imperative indicator for not only urban environmental issues (e.g. water quality, aerosols, urban heat island and climate change) but also socio-economic issues (e.g. population distribution and urban planning) from local, regional to global scales. Pearl River Delta (PRD) is such a typical metropolitan with large area of impervious surfaces, which have been leading to various environmental and socio-economic problems, and thus urgently require accurate estimation of impervious surfaces for timely monitoring and understanding its urbanization processes.