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Landsat classification of surface water for multiple seasons to monitor inundation of playa wetlands


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Rover, J.R., and Manier, D.J., 2018, Landsat classification of surface water for multiple seasons to monitor inundation of playa wetlands: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


To improve understanding of the distribution of important, ephemeral wetland habitats across the Great Plains, we documented the occurrence and distribution of surface water in playa wetland complexes for four different years across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) region. Years of research on playas has yielded multiple mechanisms and projections for sub-regions of the LCC area, but a complete, region-wide inventory and assessment has not been completed. This information is important because it informs habitat and population managers about the timing and location of habitat availability. Data representing the presence of water, percent of the area inundated with water, and the spatial distribution of playa [...]


Point of Contact :
Jennifer Rover
Originator :
Jennifer Rover, Daniel Manier
Metadata Contact :
Daniel Manier
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Land Resources
SDC Data Owner :
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center

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Climate drivers are understood to interact with land cover, land use and soil attributes in determining the amount of water that flows overland, into playa wetlands. By developing data that track the occurrence of surface waters within and across years, we can include spatial-temporal gradients of precipitation, temperature, soils and land use as covariates in multivariate models. Thus, this information should directly inform regional assessments of habitat availability for wildlife (for example, migratory waterfowl) and associated conservation of playa wetland habitats by providing spatial and temporal perspectives on seasonal inundation of these ephemeral wetlands. We demonstrate the feasibility of using LANDSAT imagery classification to determine playa wetland inundation across years and seasons. Evaluating classifications representing 4 years of imagery, we found significant year to year and state-level differences in inundation rates.



  • USGS Data Release Products



Additional Information


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DOI doi:10.5066/F7MW2GCN

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