Intertidal change

Mapping the Global Distribution and Trajectory of Tidal Flat Ecosystems

The intertidal environment is one of the last remaining unmapped coastal ecosystems on Earth. We developed a new machine-learning analysis of over 700,000 satellite images to map the global distribution and change of intertidal areas over a 30-year period.


Published as: Murray N. J., Phinn S. R., DeWitt M., Ferrari R., Johnston R., Lyons M. B., Clinton N., Thau D. & Fuller R. A. (2019) The global distribution and trajectory of tidal flats. Nature. 565:222-225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0805-8

Results from a supervised classification using 56 predictor layers, including Landsat images (courtesy USGS/NASA) and topographic data, to identify intertidal areas. A data mask showing areas where the classification was implemented can be viewed in Google Earth Engine. For further information about these data, please read the journal article describing the analytical approach and results (Murray et al., Nature 2018) and read the Frequently Asked Questions.