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Proceedings Paper

Using satellite radar imagery to monitor flood conditions in wetland ecoystems of southern Florida
Author(s): Laura L. Bourgeau-Chavez; Eric S. Kasischke; Kevin Smith
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Paper Abstract

This research study focuses on using a spaceborne imaging radar, ERS-1, for monitoring wetland ecosystems of southern Florida. the tropical climate of southern Florida is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons which cause significant changes in water tables of wetland ecosystems. The period of time during which freshwater wetlands are flooded has been severely altered by human activities over the past two decades. Canals and drainage ditches lower water tables, roads create natural barriers to surface water flow, and changes in land cover alter surface water flow. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of the ERS-1 C-band VV-polarization SAR data for monitoring the spatial and temporal patterns of flooding in wetlands of southern Florida. Surface water levels were measured at several wetland sites from May to November of 1995. Relationships between ERS-1 SAR backscatter and surface water levels in sparse canopy forested ecosystems and herbaceous ecosystems are demonstrated. The impedance of surface water flow by anthropogenic structures is also apparent in the ERS-1 imagery and may be monitored. Monitoring capabilities allow managers to assess the impacts of anthropogenic features on overland flow, erosion, wetland ecology, and coastal and estuarine processes. Long-term monitoring provides information on where to establish culverts and where it is necessary to divert water back into ecosystems to restore natural water flow patterns.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 January 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2959, Remote Sensing of Vegetation and Sea, (17 January 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.264263
Show Author Affiliations
Laura L. Bourgeau-Chavez, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (United States)
Eric S. Kasischke, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (United States)
Kevin Smith, Duke Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2959:
Remote Sensing of Vegetation and Sea
Giovanna Cecchi; Guido D'Urso; Edwin T. Engman; Preben Gudmandsen, Editor(s)

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