School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


The results of this work to date include a range of maps of the atoll, an internal report to Coral Cay Conservation, one publication and a GIS project file for Turneffe Atoll.


Arc View GIS was used to produce a range of maps. The aerial photo interpretation allows us to produce a map of the present vegetation cover. Land use activity (such as the location of small clearances for fishing camps or coconut plantations, plots marked out for tourist cabanas, etc) can be superimposed upon the vegetation cover to provide a second map of land-use. Finally, an estimate of the original vegetation cover (prior to clearance) can be produced, by reallocating areas of disturbed vegetation communities, to the most likely "natural" vegetation class. Using the spatial analysis features of the GIS, it is a simple matter to quantify the area of the atoll in each category. In this way repeating such analysis at a later date would allow the calculation of the rate of change.

Reports and publications

Preliminary findings from this research formed a report for Coral Cay Conservation:

Turneffe Terrestrial Resource Reconnaissance
A Report to Coral Cay Conservation Limited
C Minty, M Murray & S Zisman
Department of Geography
The University of Edinburgh
April 1995.

The results of later analysis and further image interpretation were published in:

Soil-plant relationships and a revised vegetation classification of Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Murray, MR, Zisman, SA and Minty, CD (1999)
Atoll Research Bulletin No. 464 pp 1-32

A copy of the final vegetation map (similar to the one published in the Atoll Research Bulletin, but in one-piece and in colour) is available in Adobe PDF format..

Local use

Copies of all published papers and the associated GIS data will be lodged with the Coastal Zone Management Unit of the Belizean Fisheries Department and the Belize Archives in Belmopan.

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