The BLM National Operations Center (NOC) has partnered with the BLM Arizona State Office and the Safford Field Office to document and measure the impacts of the HX Dam failure, which occurred in June 2014. This is a multi-year effort, which has comprised the use of both Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and spaceborne imaging systems. Original efforts focused on the use of UAS and WorldView imaging systems for the identification of structural impacts and environmental effects following the earthen dam’s failure.
The BLM is employing high-resolution commercial satellite imagery as a pilot effort to map saguaro locations within Sonoran Desert National Monument, Arizona. Saguaro are a distinctive cactus species found only within the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro are an important part of the Sonoran’s arid ecosystem. This cactus is also an iconic part of the American Southwest’s landscape. Saguaro detection is implemented via shadow mapping, using satellite imagery collected at very low sun angles during winter.
Hillshades are useful in depicting additional details in terrain and emphasizing variation in topography, which contributes to effective cartographic interpretation. However, digital hillshade products often exhibit unidirectional oblique illumination without localized variation, which limits the detail and three-dimensional appearance of hillshading and undermines its effectiveness.
The BLM National Operations Center (NOC) regularly assists field offices with photogrammetric and remote sensing projects involving Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in a variety of natural resource management applications. The NOC is currently providing subject matter expertise to the Royal Gorge Field Office (RGFO) in Canon City, Colorado, as part of an ongoing pilot project leveraging the use of multi-scale remotely sensed data for mine production verification (PV).
Located 15 mi east of Rock Springs, Wyoming (41.6641°, -108.9526°) the Pierotto irrigation diversion on Bitter Creek is threatened by stream erosion and undercutting. The diversion was constructed in 1950, rebuilt multiple times in the 1960s, then temporarily stabilized with a large cement and steel structure in the mid-1970s. The multiple iterations of this structure have slowed the upstream migration of several vertical channel drops (headcuts).
The BLM uses Google Earth Engine (GEE) to leverage remote sensing data for resource management across multiple geographic scales. GEE provides a cloud computing architecture for accessing, processing, analyzing, and generating products from satellite imagery and other geospatial scientific datasets. An extensive image archive, including Landsat, MODIS, Sentinel-1, and Sentinel-2, is available for analysis within GEE.
The BLM has instituted field-based Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) methods to characterize ecosystem condition and trends for public lands. AIM provides a statistically valid sampling strategy facilitating standardized measurements, and allows comparison of these data collected in different places and over time, for many different purposes. The BLM is efficiently and accurately identifying existing AIM plots severely impacted by wildfires (or other major disturbance events) using publicly available Sentinel-2 multispectral imagery.