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The USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) initiative has released the second update to its Conterminous United States (CONUS) science products, adding the most recent calendar year of data to an unparalleled annual land cover and land surface change time series that stretches back to 1985.

Color images of LCMAP Collection 1.2 data products
Left: A Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) false color composite, created using short-wave infrared, near infrared, and red bands (Bands 7, 5, 4), acquired November 2020 over the Castle (SQF Complex) Fire in California. Vegetation is shown in shades of green, active fire appears orange, and the subsequent burn scar shows as a reddish-brown color.    Middle: The Collection 1.2 Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection (LCMAP) Time of Spectral Change (SCTIME) product shows the timing of a spectral change within 2020, defined as a “break” in the Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) time series model, where spectral observations have diverged from model predictions, grouped here by month. Notice both the Landsat ARD time series and SCTIME image show the progression of the fire from August (green), spreading north into Sequoia National Park by the end of September (purple).    Right: The Collection 1.2 LCMAP Spectral Stability Period (SCSTAB) product represents the length, in days, of the time series model in effect as of July 1, 2020. Note that most of the areas burned in the fire had been stable for the entirety of the LCMAP time period, which now covers 36 years of data. This is not surprising, as parts of this area include groves of Sequoia trees, some of which are thousands of years old. A study by the National Park Service suggests that 10 – 14% of large sequoias in the Sierra Nevadas may have been killed in the 2020 Castle Fire.  

LCMAP Collection 1.2 marks the second of two planned updates for calendar year 2021. The collection extends LCMAP’s historical record of land cover and change to 36 years, characterizing the landscapes across CONUS at 30-meter resolution from 1985-2020. Processing for LCMAP Collection 1.3 will begin in early 2022, once all data from calendar year 2021 are made available.

Collection 1.2 extends the LCMAP time series, adding to the expansive list of scientific and research questions it can be used to investigate. The 10-product suite can be used to capture the dynamics of wetlands in growth or decline, characterize the ephemeral impacts of hurricanes or rapidly-shifting mining operations, track the pace of coastal erosion or urban growth, to monitor recovery from mudslides and wildfires, and much more.

LCMAP products can also serve as a complement to other USGS Landsat-based mapping efforts, such as the National Land Cover Database, LANDFIRE, Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity and others.

The LCMAP team at EROS was able to produce the additional data approximately just months after the release of Collection 1.1.

Collection 1.2 data are now available through EarthExplorer. The new data will be added to and available through LCMAP’s interactive web viewer, alongside downloadable CONUS mosaics for each product. The results of a validation assessment of the LCMAP Collection (1985-2018) are also available through ScienceBase.

To learn more about LCMAP Collection 1.2, please visit the product page.

Be sure to subscribe to the LCMAP listserv to keep up with product news and updates.

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