Regional-scale studies, such as those being conducted for the WLCI, are well suited for the use of remote-sensing techniques. Derivative products from remote-sensing instruments, such as Landsat, have been used successfully for decades in studies of geology, vegetation, environmental change, and many other types of scientific research. The continuous coverage of Landsat data since 1972 makes it possible to establish baseline conditions in areas affected by renewable and nonrenewable energy development. In this study, various Landsat datasets are being used to map current and pre-development conditions in the WLCI study area for a selected set of scientific interests.
Landsat scenes have been mosaicked to produce a composite map of minerals, including clays, carbonates, sulfates, micas, ferric and ferrous iron minerals, bare rock, and soil. Landsat imagery from April and June of 2009 was obtained to produce normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and difference normalized difference vegetation index (dNDVI) maps. One scene was selected to demonstrate the effectiveness of USGS software DESI (Detection of Early Season Invasives; Kokaly, 2011) for mapping cheatgrass. The DESI software comprises programs, written in Interactive Data Language (IDL), that run within the image-processing system ENvironment for Visualizing Images (ENVI) (ITT Visual Information Solutions, 2009). In FY2012, final products, including mineral and invasive species maps, were drafted and will be completed in FY2013.
Kokaly, R.F., 2011, Detecting cheatgrass on the Colorado Plateau using Landsat data: A tutorial for the DESI software: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1327, 88 p. (Also available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1327/.)
ITT Visual Information Solutions, 2009, ENVI 4.7/ IDL version 7.1 user’s guide: Boulder, Colo., ITT Visual Information Solutions, unpaged.
Products Completed in FY2011
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