Ecological Services, Region 3, GLRI
Dr. Laura Chavez, Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), led a study for the FWS to compare the utility of Radarsat satellite imagery and lidar imagery for identifying vernal pools in Michigan. Vernal pools are important ecological features, supporting a variety of plants and animals, that are of management concern. In 2014, Radarsat-2 images were acquired during spring (inundated) and summer (dry) at four locations previously imaged with lidar datasets. Using the Random Forest classification approach, mapping results produced accuracies of 93 percent using Radarsat-2 imagery and 67 percent using lidar.
Comparison of the lidar and digital elevation model (DEM) potential vernal pool map (left) to SAR and DEM-generated potential vernal pool map (right). Red outlines show potential pools from airphotos, and green dots are field-verified locations of vernal pools.