LANDFIRE products are integral to fire management and research within the United States. An essential component of LANDFIRE is the development of detailed vegetation maps, which use 30-meter Landsat imagery as the principal source of remotely sensed data.
Lidar (terrestrial or bathymetric)
Barrier islands, headlands, and coastal shorelines provide numerous ecosystem goods and services, including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, and areas for recreation and tourism. These coastal features are dynamic environments; storms, wave energy, tides, currents, and relative sea-level rise are powerful forces that shape local geomorphology and habitat distribution.
Tens of millions of trees reportedly died in California during the 2012–2016 drought, resulting in marked increases in heavy fuel loads on the landscape. In conjunction with warming temperature, drier conditions, and over a century of fire suppression, the accumulation of fuels can result in large fires that are beyond the predictive capacity of traditional fire behavior models. These extreme fires can cause an enormous amount of damage.
Fusing remote sensing products from different satellite sensors allows the development of enhanced maps of the distribution of coastal wetland plants and more accurate models of coastal elevations. This critical information about vulnerability to sea-level rise and hurricane flooding is being used by Department of Interior partners and State and local agencies to improve management in a changing climate.
Shrublands in southern California have seen sweeping changes in vegetation composition and structure due to fire and drought. Invasion of non-native grasses after repeated fire or drought events can inhibit shrub recovery and lead to vegetation type conversion to nonnative grassland. In California’s San Diego County, chaparral and coastal sage scrub vegetation communities are at risk, with some areas experiencing large declines in shrub cover.
In recent decades, forests worldwide have experienced dramatic and often unexpected drought-related tree mortality events. California recently suffered its most extreme drought on record, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of trees. Beyond the immediate impact on forests, such mortality events substantially increase the risk of catastrophic fires, which have the potential to change entire landscapes overnight.
The Nation’s coastlines are highly dynamic ecosystems that can change drastically in response to storms, high water levels, and sea-level rise. These changes can put habitats, lives, and infrastructure at risk. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has the expertise and capabilities to measure these coastlines and predict where and when coastal change may occur, but updated coastal elevation data are needed to keep these forecasts as accurate as possible.
Coastal wetlands and estuaries are critical ecosystems that serve as the bridge between land and sea, provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, and offer protection from storms and waves for inland communities. When these environments evolve naturally, they can adapt to rising sea levels by retreating landward, and fish and wildlife follow suit.
High water levels and heavy wave action have degraded shoreline, beaches, and infrastructure along the Lake Superior side of the Minnesota Point barrier island, located between the Duluth and Superior Harbor entries. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been exploring the beneficial use of dredge material for beach nourishment on the barrier island to slow the impact of erosion.
The Northeast Archeological Resources Program (NARP) supports archeological resource planning, research, and baseline inventory and evaluation of archeological resources in the Interior Region 1 North Atlantic-Appalachian (formerly Northeast Region). NARP uses a suite of tools in their work with archeological resources including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), with an integrated program of remote sensing to contribute to the enhancement of arc