Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  Delaware Land Cover
Capital Dover
Largest City Wilmington
Area Ranked 49th
Total 1,953.56 sq mi
Population Ranked 45th
Total (2000) 783,600
Density 401.0/sq mi
Highest point Ebright Azimuth 450 ft (137 m)
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 ft (0 m)
Delaware Land Cover

This small State lies entirely in the Coastal Plain on the northeastern part of the Delmarva Peninsula with Delaware Bay following the entire length of its eastern coast, providing sandy beaches and wetlands for residents and tourists. The State has little topographic variation; its highest point, Ebright Azimuth, is only 450 feet above sea level. Delaware is principally a low-lying landscape with agricultural lands in the south that produce poultry, corn, and dairy products. In contrast, rolling hills and urban areas are found in the north. Many short rivers are found in the State with the two most notable being the Christina and the Nanticoke. The State's many rivers and proximity to Delaware Bay ensure that residents are never far from water and the recreation it offers. Delaware is also home to a small fishing industry that mainly harvests clams, oysters, and fish such as menhaden and scup. Limited woodland cover of mixed deciduous and evergreen forests can be found throughout the State.
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.