GEOLINKS International Conference 2019, Book 2
MAPPING REGIONAL DIVERGENCE: NIGHT-TIME LIGHT SATELLITE IMAGERY IN DEFINING COASTALIZATION OF EUROPE
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Andrey S. Mikhaylov, Dr. Anna A. Mikhaylova
Marine coasts have always been natural growth poles for all mankind attracting population, entrepreneurship, industrial agglomeration, financial flows to adjacent coastal zones. Contemporary research on integrated coastal management suggests that coastalization effect remains to be the catalyst factor of regional development throughout the world and will strengthen within the next quarter of a century. Increasing socio-spatial polarization and dispersion among countries against regional convergence policies puts the ‘marine factor’ on the research agenda of human geographers. The aim of this article is to test the applicability of remote sensing technologies in capturing the coastalization processes across Europe by undertaking a comparison of results obtained via statistical multivariate analysis and the night-time light satellite imagery. The study is based on analysis of population density and GRP in PPP per km2 figures for 413 NUTS 2 level regions of Europe. The totality of regions is grouped into clusters depending on their socio-economic indicators. Coastal and inland types of territories are found to be evenly distributed within the allocated clusters – approximately 40 to 60 percentages on average, thus, not reflecting a clear coastalization effect. The juxtaposition of statistical data with nocturnal satellite imagery of emitted light enables to confirm the identified pattern, while featuring a number of particularities.
regional divergence, polarization, coastalization, coastal region, inland region, night-time lights, VIIRS, remote sensing