Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 5, 2008
Publication Date: March 5, 2008
Citation: Lang, M.W., McCarty, G.W. 2008. Innovative tools for mapping forested wetlands in the Choptank River Watershed. Maryland Natural Resources Conservation Service. Available: http://www.md.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ceap.html. Technical Abstract: While numerous factors interact to influence wetland function and extent, hydropattern (i.e., spatial and temporal fluctuations in soil moisture and flooding) is the single most important factor. Small changes in hydropattern can cause large changes in wetland characteristics and functions. In the future, greater human impact and climate change have the potential to further alter wetland hydropattern in the Choptank River Watershed. In order to understand and forecast these changes, new approaches are needed to systematically monitor and assess hydrologic conditions. The objective of this portion of the Choptank River Watershed, Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is to investigate the potential of satellite-based radar imagery for mapping wetland hydrology. If successful, results from this work may be applied on a regional or national scale to evaluate changes in wetland function. Next generation wetland maps, produced using radar, will improve water quality management by helping to better understand the fate of select agrochemicals and sediment, thus improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.