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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2003 Project Summary Report

Project Title: Land Characteristics from Remote Sensing

Project Start Date: 2000 Project End Date: 2005

Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov

Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Florida landmass - south of Lake Okeechobee

Funding Source: USGS's Greater Everglades Science Initiative (PBS); Geographic Analysis and Monitoring

Principal Investigator(s): John W. Jones

Project Personnel: J. W. Jones, G. Desmond, D. Sechrist, S. Price, J-C. Thomas, R. Glover, G. Lemeshewsky, N. Rybicki

Supporting Organizations: USGS, NPS

Associated / Linked Projects: TIME, Evapotranspiration, SICS, Solution Hole Mapping, National Land Cover Database

Overview & Objective(s): This project develops innovative methods for geospatial data production and analysis of land surface characteristics at various points in time. Its primary goal is to provide restoration-critical information regarding past and current characteristics of the Greater Everglades land surface. Project information has been used for field instrument placement, to increase the accuracy of hydrologic and other surface process simulations, and to increase our understanding of the role that vegetation and other surface features play in resistance to surface water flow and habitat condition in South Florida. The generated data themselves will provide the baseline information necessary to begin monitoring the effects of restoration actions.

Status: As it enters it's second to last year, this project will be focused on the completion and documentation of specific vegetation characterization tasks and the establishment of a foundation for Everglades land surface monitoring at several scales.

Recent & Planned Products:

  • Big Cypress/Pine Island region satellite image map (4000 paper copies and multi-resolution digital files) that can be mosaicked with the maps published and distributed during 2001 and 2002.
  • South Florida land cover spectral library with appropriate metadata to allow for hyper and multi-spectral remote sensing research and radiative transfer modeling.
  • Non-destructive, satellite remote sensing field data collection protocol that allows for regional vegetation density/leaf area index map production.
  • Assessment of the spatial heterogeneity of vegetation density throughout the Everglades region through representative sampling from high-spatial resolution imagery.
  • An archive of orthorectified, atmospherically mitigated Landsat/SPOT satellite images.
  • Digital, high-resolution (0.5 ft) color-infrared orthophotos for Rocky Glades region habitat mapping.

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs: The methods development, data production, and scientific findings of the Land Characteristics from Remote Sensing Project address many of the science and restoration information needs associated with Greater Everglades Restoration. The project is contributing to our understanding of biophysical processes and the development of the hydrologic and ecological models that are needed for restoration project design and the establishment of monitoring baselines. Project research is examining the importance of data resolution and other issues of scale in support of landscape modeling, vegetation monitoring and the synoptic assessment of indicator responses to restoration actions. In this way, the project contributes to the development of baseline information and rapid change assessment capability necessary for successful adaptive management. Project Foci for the remaining two years will create an efficient sampling framework and land surface information that also support the modeling and monitoring of vegetative production and the interactions of plants with water level, soil, nutrients, and ecosystem processes. Because components of the project have covered the Everglades region from Lake Okeechobee southward, it supports mapping, monitoring, and analysis needs for several sub-regional focus areas such as the Loxahatchee NWR, Water Conservation Area 3, Everglades National Park, and coastal area wetlands.

Key Findings:

  • The distances over which Everglades vegetation is spatially autocorrelated is highly directionally dependent within sloughs (areas of high velocity flow) but isotropic in low-flow/high-nutrient areas.
  • Vegetation density is spatially random above scale lengths of approximately 30 meters.
  • Assignment of flow resistance coefficients to 500 m (or larger) resolution model cells through simple aggregation may not capture important sub-grid spatial variations in vegetation influences on hydrodynamics.

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)