Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #304582

Research Project: QUANTIFYING AND MONITORING NUTRIENT CYCLING, CARBON DYNAMICS AND SOIL PRODUCTIVITY AT FIELD, WATERSHED AND REGIONAL SCALES

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Monitoring wetland inundation dynamics in response to weather variability in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Author
item Lang, Megan - Science Systems, Inc
item Hugang, C. - University Of Maryland
item In-young, Y. - University Of Maryland
item Mccarty, Gregory

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2014
Publication Date: 8/15/2014
Citation: Lang, M., Hugang, C., In-Young, Y., Mccarty, G.W. 2014. Monitoring wetland inundation dynamics in response to weather variability in the Chesapeake Bay watershed [abstract]. BARC Poster Day 2014.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Wetlands provide a broad range of ecosystem services, including flood control, water purification, groundwater replenishment, and biodiversity support. The provision of these services, which are especially valued in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, is largely controlled by varying levels of wetness. The majority of wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic US are forested. Forested wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic region are usually inundated or saturated for a relatively short period, usually in the spring after snowmelt and before leaf-out so monitoring the hydrologic condition of these wetlands can be difficult. Furthermore, inter-annual inundation patterns vary greatly in response to weather. For these reasons, maps of forested wetland inundation through time, which are vital for the estimation of wetland functions and services, have not been previously available. The purpose of this study was to develop a new approach to map wetland inundation using combined data from airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and spaceborne Landsat. Results demonstrate that accurate maps of wetland inundation can be developed using this approach and that Landsat images can be calibrated to reveal the inundation state of wetlands over large regions. The importance of this finding is linked to the 40+ year continuous record of Landsat images, which can now be used to look at long-term trends in wetland hydrology. This will enhance our ability to detect influences of climate and land cover change on wetland functions and the health of the Chesapeake Bay.