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Comparison of IKONOS Derived Vegetation Index and LiDAR Derived Canopy Height Model for Grassland Management.

Description: Forest encroachment is understood to be the main reason for prairie grassland decline across the United States. In Texas and Oklahoma, juniper has been highlighted as particularly opportunistic. This study assesses the usefulness of three remote sensing techniques to aid in locating the areas of juniper encroachment for the LBJ Grasslands in Decatur, Texas. An object based classification was performed in eCognition and final accuracy assessments placed the overall accuracy at 94%, a significant improvement over traditional pixel based methods. Image biomass was estimated using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1 meter resolution IKONOS winter images. A high correlation between the sum of NDVI for tree objects and field tree biomass was determined where R = 0.72, suggesting NDVI sum of a tree area is plausible. However, issues with NDVI saturation and regression produced unrealistically high biomass estimates for large NDVI. Canopy height model (CHM) derived from 3-5m LiDAR data did not perform as well. LiDAR typically used for digital elevation model (DEM) production was acquired for the CHM and produced correlations of R = 0.26. This suggests an inability for this particular dataset to identify juniper trees. When points that registered a tree height where correlated with field values, an R = 0.5 was found, suggesting denser point spacing would be necessary for this type of LiDAR data. Further refining of the methods used in this study could yield such information as the amount of juniper tree for a given location, fuel loads for prescribed burns and better information for the best approach to remove the juniper and ultimately management juniper encroachment into grasslands.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Parker, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries

The formation and maintenance of single-thread tie channels entering floodplain lakes: observations from three diverse river systems

Description: Tie channels connect rivers to floodplain lakes on many lowland rivers and thereby play a central role in floodplain sedimentology and ecology, yet they are generally unrecognized and little studied. here we report the results of field studies focused on tie channel origin and morphodynamics in three contrasting systems: the Middle Fly River, Papua New Guinea, the Lower Mississippi River, and Birch Creek in Alaska. Across these river systems, tie channels vary by an order of magnitude in size but exhibit the same characteristic morphology and appear to develop and evolve by a similar set of processes. In all three systems, the channels are characterized by a narrow, leveed single-thread morphology with maximum width approximately one tenth the width of the mainstem river. The channels typically have a V shaped cross-section, unlike most fluvial channels. These channels develop as lakes become isolated from the river by sedimentation. Narrowing of the connection between river and lake causes a sediment-laden jet to develop. Levees develop along the margins of the jet leading to channel emergence and eventual levee aggradation to the height of the mainstem levees. Bi-directional flow in these channels is common. Outflows from the lake scour sediment and prevent channel blockage. We propose that channel geometry and size are then controlled by a dynamic balance between channel narrowing by suspended sediment deposition and incision and widening by mass failure of banks during outflows. Tie channels are laterally stable and may convey flow for hundreds to a few thousand of years.
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Rowland, Joel C; Dietrich, William E; Day, Geoff & Parker, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department