Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  Connecticut Land Cover
Capital Hartford
Largest City Bridgeport
Area Ranked 48th
Total 4,844.80 sq mi
Population Ranked 29th
Total (2000) 3,405,565
Density 702.9/sq mi
Highest point Mount Frissel 2,380 ft (725 m)
Lowest point Long Island Sound 0 ft (0 m)
Connecticut Land Cover

Connecticut is composed of five land regions: the Taconic Section, the Western New England Upland, the Connecticut Valley Lowland, the Eastern New England Upland, and the Coastal Lowlands. The Taconic Section, located in the northwestern corner of Connecticut, is home to the State’s highest elevations and heaviest forest cover. The Western New England Upland is located in the western part of the State and mixed forest, pasture, and water are the predominant land cover types. The Connecticut Valley Lowland is located in the center of the State. This region is known for its pasture, mixed forest, and expansive urban development. It also contains the most productive farmland in the State. It used to be an area of dairy farming and shade-grown tobacco production. Eastern Connecticut is dominated by the Eastern New England Upland, an area of valleys and forested ridges. Pasture, wetlands, and urban development also dot this landscape. The Coastal Lowlands are located along the Atlantic coastline and are where most of the State’s tourist destinations are located. This region is characterized by expansive urban development and mixed forest cover. The heaviest urban land cover is found along the western coastal strip from the New York – Connecticut boundary through New Haven. East of New Haven, development along the coast is not as substantial.
The Importance of Land Cover Information

Scientists working in the USGS are among the leaders in the study of land cover. Land cover refers to the vegetation and artificial structures that cover the land's surface. Examples of land cover include trees, grass, crops, wetlands, water, buildings, and pavement. As scientists study land cover, they are also studying land use. Land use involves human activities that take place on the land such as farming, grazing, logging, and recreation. Land cover scientists use satellite images and other remotely sensed imagery to assess national and global land cover characteristics and monitor how - and how rapidly - land cover changes. They also study the economic impacts of land cover change as well as its effects on water quality, the spread of invasive species, habitat and biodiversity loss, climate variability, and other environmental factors. Scientists require up-to-date land cover information to accurately understand current conditions and to assess the extent and impacts of land cover change on the Earth system.