Deep sea port off the coast


The Yangshan Deep Sea Port is located on Yangshan Island, approximately 32.5 kilometres from downtown Shanghai.

The port covers an area of about 2,000 hectares and features over 130 berths for various types of vessels, making it one of the largest container ports globally. The port handles more than 43 million TEUs (standard containers, Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) annually, making it one of the world’s busiest ports. The Donghai Bridge connects Yangshan Island to the mainland, stretching over 32.5 kilometres and standing as one of the longest sea bridges globally.

Situated adjacent to Yangshan Port, the Donghai Bridge Wind Farm was China’s first commercial wind farm. It boasts more than 60 wind turbines with a combined capacity of over 200 megawatts (MW).

The satellite maps show the changes due to the construction work of the port, the bridge, and the wind farm. The false-colour infrared representation highlights the vegetation in red.


  • Satellite Map:
    • Click on the layer selector icon in the upper right and deselect all layer groups (True colour, IR, and Radar).
    • Start to compare the True colour images from 2000, 2010, and 2022, and describe the development of the displayed area.
    • Deselect the layer group « True colour » and select the group « IR » with the false-colour infrared images.
    • Looking at the false-colour infrared satellite images, try to identify different land cover classes (vegetation, water, built-up areas).
    • Deselect the layer group « IR » and select the group « Radar » with the radar satellite images taken by Sentinel-1.
    • Looking at the radar satellite images, what can be seen strikingly clearly? Think about man-made structures in the sea.
    • Try to estimate the total area of the container port.
    • Is the water surface always of the same colour? Why not? Think about the shallow waters along the coastline around Shanghai and about the sediments brought in by the large rivers such as the Yangtse.
    • Have a look at the structures in the water colour and think about the reasons. Think about wind, sea currents, ship traffic, …
    • Based on these considerations, what do you think are reasons why the port has been placed here and not directly at the coast?
    • Following these considerations, what could be advantages of this region with respect to windfarms?
  • EO Browser:
    • Open EO Browser.
    • Find the most recent Sentinel-2 dataset covering the area displayed in the satellite map. Is it easy to obtain cloud-free images in that area? Why/why not?
    • Select a false-colour infrared representation.
    • Can you identify additional, recent changes in the area? What about the port infrastructure and the windfarms?
    • Find the most recent Sentinel-1 dataset covering the area, use one of the colour representations and compare with the Sentinel-2 dataset – what are advantages and disadvantages of the respective representations?

Links and Sources

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