Spatio-temporal distribution of off-shore ships in the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone based on satellite imagery

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D candidate of Remote Sensing and GIS, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Remote Sensing and GIS, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Remote Sensing, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of GIS, Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are areas controlled by specific legislations so as to
attain economic prosperity. These zones are commonly established and controlled by
government officials and are primarily characterized by growing population and developing
transport infrastructure. One relevant case is the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone
(PSEEZ) situated in the south of Iran, on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf. This
particular zone has been formed to extract, refine, and export gas. The coast of the Persian
Gulf has brought on further expansions in sea transportation, thereby increasing shipping
activities in the area. The chief mode of shipping goods and materials in the PSEEZ is
Maritime transportation. Identification of areas where traffic is carried out requires the
collection of spatial data of ships. These spatial data are utilized in several applications for
modeling of marine ecosystem. The central purpose of this research is to procure spatial
data required for the PSEEZ using optical remote sensing images. Thus, Landsat-8 and
Sentinel-2 images spanning from 2013 to 2018 were incorporated to identify ships in the
study area. The threshold-based method was implemented for detecting the ships using
infrared bands of 172 images, upon which a total of 3361 ships were identified. The map of
areas affected by ship traffic was prepared using Hot Spot analysis. The results specify that
more than 80 square kilometers of the marine environment has been affected by ship traffic
during the years 2013- 2018.

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