Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  Georgia Land Cover
Capital Atlanta
Largest City Atlanta
Area Ranked 24th
Total 57,906.14 sq mi
Population Ranked 10th
Total (2000) 8,186,453
Density 141.4/sq mi
Highest point Brasstown Bald 4,784 ft (1,458 m)
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 ft (0 m)
Georgia Land Cover

The southern region of the State is characterized by a flat coastal plain with a series of small barrier islands along the coast known as the Sea Islands. Northern Georgia is home to the heavily forested Appalachian Plateau and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Bridging the wetlands of the coastal plain and the mountainous ridges of the north is the Piedmont foothill region that covers one-third of the State. Georgia has a varied topographic landscape whose features have a northeast/southwest trend. Georgia is drained by many rivers, with the Savannah being the most notable for its length (350 miles) and forming the border between Georgia and South Carolina. In addition to a dense river system network, Georgia hosts substantial woody and herbaceous wetlands along its coastline. The highest concentration of forest growth is in northern Georgia; however, deciduous, pine, and mixed forest are found almost anywhere in the State. Okefenokee Swamp is found in the southeast region of the State, along its border with Florida. It is a shallow, 438,000-acre peat-filled wetland which is the largest peat-based black water swamp in North America.
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.