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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Application of Optics to Estimate Rangeland Production and View Obstruction Reading (Vor) at the Grand River National Grassland

Location: Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory

2012 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To use remote sensing-based data to estimate VOR at the Grand River National Grassland.

1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will approach the problem of determining rangeland biomass under variable climatic conditions using hyperspectral aerial and multispectral satellite-based data collected both at the end of June and the beginning of September.

3.Progress Report:

We succeeded in completing the first phase with the design and implementation of a simple, cost-effective data product that assesses relative differences in canopy structure at the 30 and 15 m pixel scales. In this initial phase, we.
1)classified and randomized sample points for a 90,000 acre landscape using reflectance data from 2000 to 2009;.
2)characterized sample points with respect to vegetation species, canopy height and biomass;.
3)characterized sample points and the entire landscape with respect to elevation and vegetation reflectance by modeling digital elevation and broad-band image data. This approach to grassland landscape assessment can inform land managers of where conservation efforts may need to be applied at a grassland scale. Field data were collected in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additional work, required in subsequent phases, will address correlations between hyperspectral and field data to assess vegetation biomass.

Last Modified: 2/27/2015
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