Migratory species depend on a chain of habitats for survival, including breeding habitats, overwintering sites, and migratory stopover locations. Barrier islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico provide habitat for all three of these life-history phases and are important habitat for many shorebird species, such as Red Knots, Piping Plovers, and Western Sandpipers.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems-based Remote Sensing of River Discharge Using Bathymetric Lidar and Thermal Particle Image Velocimetry
The USGS is developing innovative technologies and approaches for measuring river discharge using remotely sensed data. Given the expense associated with remote sensing from conventional aerial platforms (e.g., helicopter, airplane), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) offer hydrographers a lower cost alternative for data acquisition.
Imagery collected using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are being used to document baseline vegetation conditions and to monitor progress of bottomland forest restoration at the Little Saint Francis River, Missouri.
As part of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment settlement related to contaminant releases from the Molycorp/Questa Molybdenum mine, subalpine fens, wetlands, and associated stream habitat for the native Rio Grande cutthroat trout are being restored in high-altitude headwaters of Bitter Creek, New Mexico.
This project focuses on the illegal artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) of small and low-grade mineral and gemstone deposits. Project scientists employ field mapping, geomorphological techniques, and remote sensing to map, monitor, and evaluate mineral deposits and ASM activities in conflict zones and during complex emergencies.
Palmyra Atoll is a former World War II U.S. Naval air station that is now a wildlife refuge jointly managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy.
A decommissioned landfill located on BLM-managed land in Fairplay, Colorado, was found to be leeching chemicals into the groundwater.
The flow of water in a river channel redistributes various materials, including organisms and pollutants, through a process called dispersion. Understanding this mechanism is critical for applications ranging from species conservation to hazardous waste management. Tracer tests with a visible dye are often used to study dispersion, typically by measuring dye concentration directly in the field at a few fixed locations.
Vegetation growth is important to monitor in areas undergoing restoration. Color imagery collected using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at a bottomland hardwood restoration site in northeast Indiana was used to derive a vegetation height model using Structure from Motion (SfM) image processing. Data from that model were then compared to vegetation height data collected in field plots.
The USGS National Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Project Office, the USGS Cascades Volcano Center, and Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Aviation Services (OAS) trained personnel and equipment were deployed on May 17, 2018, to support the remote sensing data acquisition needed for monitoring eruptions of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.