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Project Work Plan
Department of Interior USGS GE PES
Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan
Study Title: South Florida Landscape Dynamics
Funding History: FY06; FY07
Principal Investigator(s): John W. Jones, Ph.D., Research Geographer, Eastern Geographic Science Center
Associated / Linked Studies:
Overview & Objective(s):
The primary goal of this study is to provide restoration-critical information regarding past and current characteristics of the Greater Everglades land surface (i.e., 'landscape dynamics') using remote sensing and geospatial analysis for improved landscape-scale modeling and restoration monitoring. The study develops innovative methods for geospatial data production and analysis of land surface characteristics like ground surface elevation and land cover over space and through time. The generated data provide baseline information necessary to begin monitoring and simulating the effects of restoration actions. Results of study landscape analyses facilitate more efficient and effective sampling strategies, improve field instrument placement/data collection campaigns, and increase our understanding of the relationships among surface features (e.g., vegetation and water) within the context of hydrologic, ecologic, and climatic processes.
The study has three over-riding objectives:
Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:
The work of this study addresses many of the major unanswered questions and key research needs identified in the DOI Science Plan (DOISP), the Restoration Coordination and Verification Program Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP), and the National Park Service Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI) Program Announcement.
Tasks 1 through 3 contribute comprehensively to the development of landscape-scale modeling and monitoring outlined in the DOISP (i.e., projects to improve the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water and landscape-scale science needed to support multiple CERP activities) through (a) development of techniques and protocols for scaling of point-measured data collected in the field to moderate and regional extents through remote sensing and geographic analysis, (b) development of well-calibrated data that can be used to establish baselines, conduct historic analyses, and monitor regional scale biophysical processes and (c) the development of tools and information for vegetation, water, and habitat assessment and monitoring at regional scales over intra- and inter-annual timeframes.
Although Task activities are often technique-development oriented, they are conducted with an applications focus so that specific information needs of the MAP are met by each experiment.
This study supports the CESI restoration goal 1 ("Get the Water right") by contributing to efforts to: improve linkages between and/or develop fully coupled hydrologic/hydro-dynamic/ecologic models, monitor the response of species sensitive to changes in hydrology, and develop parameters needed for the population of various models. It also includes the collection of field measurements in critical areas and the development of methods to estimate parameter values from commonly available information. It contributes directly to the CESI restoration goal 2 ("Restore, Preserve, and Protect Natural Habitats") by generating information on spatial and temporal plant community cover and density in marl prairie, ridge and slough, and tree island habitats in the Northern Everglades and by conducting data analysis to stress the synergistic use of in-situ and remotely-sensed vegetation and elevation data.
Because study data collection and analyses are conducted at multiple scales (up to regional), this study specifically supports several projects listed in the DOI Science Plan. These include (a) investigating the ecological response to hydrologic change in the LNWR, (b) WCA 3 Decompartmentalization and sheetflow enhancement, (c) baseline studies and monitoring of plant community species composition, cover, and density in marl prairie and ridge and slough habitats in the southern Everglades, and (d) studying the links between hydrology and ecology. Data and change detection methods developed through this research are also expected to contribute to fire management and invasive species detection and monitoring needs of DOI land managers.
Digital elevation model (DEM), GIS database structures, and effective ways of visualizing and distributing high accuracy elevation data for the Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) initially investigated in FY06 were enhanced, made operational, and documented in FY07. For example, using high accuracy elevation data collected in FY07, the area of coverage for the EDEN DEM was expanded to include more of WCA3 and portions of the Big Cypress National Wildlife Preserve. The EDEN DEM was used in various species habitat modeling efforts. Similarly, project-generated soils GIS databases for Miami/Dade and Collier counties are seeing wide application by public agencies and private industry. The satellite data database for the Everglades region was expanded through the acquisition of 27 archived Landsat images. Several methods of data calibration (and atmospheric correction in particular) were developed. Two of these algorithms were programmed into an image processing systems and initially compared by summer interns through human resource initiative funding/the mentoring program. Methods of generating biophysical variables from these data, such as leaf area index and estimates of evapotranspiration based on energy balance analysis were also piloted in FY07. They are now ready for testing and documentation. Together with project Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) research, the improved EDEN DEM, and the EDEN network of water level data, this extensive, calibrated satellite image database, soils information, and associated algorithms will be used for comprehensive analyses of vegetation and topography (ecohydrology). Therefore in FY08 this project becomes a user of EDEN information with a renewed investigation of landscape-scale land cover monitoring using remote sensing. Water Conservation Area 3 will be used as a pilot study area as it is currently a focus area for numerous hydrologic and landscape studies. In this way, on-going multi-disciplinary research efforts can be leveraged and both scientific and current adaptive management issues can be simultaneously addressed. Collaborators from the USFWS and SFWMD will be active participants in these analyses.
-Rocky Glades Pilot Study Region High Resolution (0.16m) Color Infrared Orthophotos.
-Report or journal article on the fusion of remote sensed vegetation and topographic information for digital elevation model synthesis.
Title of Task 1: Analysis of well-calibrated, high quality multi-resolution and multi-temporal databases to measure thresholds and rates of landscape change in the Everglades.
Task Summary and Objectives:
This has two objectives:
Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:
Project developed calibration, atmospheric correction, and biophysical modeling algorithms will be rigorously evaluated this year using ground-collected surface reflectences, meteorological and biophysical data to quantify and document their efficiency and effectiveness in producing consistent, regional temporal series of satellite data for Everglades research and monitoring.
To address the second task objective, exploratory and structured experiments will be conducted to determine the amounts of change in WCA3 land surfaces that can be experimentally and operationally detected. Change detection techniques (e.g., image differencing and multi-temporal principle components analysis) will be applied to the calibrated satellite image library through objective 1 to determine the types of changes that can be detected and the timescale(s) over which changes occur. Rather than prescribe the changes being targeted, the PI will look for changes in the imagery and then label those changes based on ancillary information. This is an empirical process in which the thresholds of change that are identifiable in the imagery will be determined and then compared against features documented by previous field surveys, high-resolution aerial photography, and current project field-work. Some tonal changes may be easy to identify (e.g., vegetation to open water or the opposite). Others, such as sawgrass to cattail or brush to sawgrass for example, will be more difficult to discern. Once we have determined what WCA3 changes can be reliably detected and identified using our techniques and available imagery, we will solicit interest in the conduct of similar work in other regions such as the Everglades National Park.
Specific Task Product(s):
-An expanded, multi-temporal, calibrated, and well-documented satellite image database (December 2007).
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:09 PM(KP)