Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 659-674.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003260

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Remote Sensing Analysis of Coastline Changes in Hainan Island during 1987-2017

Li Zhang1,2(), Jingjuan Liao1,2, Xin Yuan1, Xiaodong Mu3, Xixi Song1, Jingpeng Bi1   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Earth Observation of Hainan Province, Sanya 572000, China
    3.Hainan Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Haikou 570100, China
  • Received:2019-10-08 Revised:2020-04-30 Online:2020-07-31 Published:2020-08-11


Coastal zone of Hainan is one of the most valuable areas of natural resources and also forms a good ecological environment. Based on a 30-years coastal data derived from satellite imagery, which includes coastline, mangrove, nearshore aquaculture ponds, artificial islands, and ports, this study analyzed the coastline changes and other spatial elements in the coastal zone of Hainan Island. The human activities that impacted on the coasts of Hainan were also evaluated. The indices used for the analysis were: Length Change Intensity (LCI), Index of Coastline Type Diversity (ICTD), and Index of Coastline Utilization Degree (ICUD). In this study, we found that: 1) the length of the coastline increased steadily from 1,655 km (in 1987) to 1,890 km (in 2017). In contrast, the natural coastline length decreased continuously from 1,565 km (in late 1980s) to 1,140 km (in 2017), with a proportion drop from 94.6% to 60.3%. The length and proportion of artificial shoreline increased remarkably, from 90 km (in late 1980s) up to 750 km (in 2017) and a proportion changed from 5.40% to 39.7%. 2) The diversity of coastline types decreased while the coastline utilization degree increased. From 1987 to 2017, the ICUD increased continuously from 237.34 to 285.03, indicating that human activities had an increasing effect on coastline changes. 3) Land and sea pattern changes were complicated, with the coastline expanding into the sea. Overall, the coastal land area increased by 107.49 km. A variety of human factors contribute for the continuous changes of the coastline. The change in the biotic coastline is mainly the result of competition between mangroves and aquaculture ponds, and the construction of ports and offshore artificial islands, which are also responsible for the land sea pattern reform. Since 2000, the length of the coastline of Hainan Island has increased largely due to the coastal construction projects that have augmented the artificial shoreline. Currently, it is still necessary to strengthen the protection and control of coastlines and promote their sustainable utilization. With the increase in general awareness about environmental protection laws and the implementation of coastal zone management and ecological restoration protocols, the coastal ecological environment will be largely protected and restored. This study contributes to a better understanding of the ecological environmental changes in the coastal zone of Hainan and provides scientific basis for the protection and restoration of its ecological environment. The study provides a scientific application paradigm for the effective use of coastal datasets to conduct research on the coastal environment.

Key words: Hainan Island, remote sensing, coastline, mangrove, ecological environment

CLC Number: 

  • 170.6045