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High Resolution Canopy Structure and Density Metrics for Southwest Colorado Derived from 2019 Aerial Lidar

July 17, 2023

Canopy density and canopy structure metrics were derived for the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado from aerial point cloud data at a 1-meter (m) resolution. The aerial lidar data originated from the ‘CO_Southwest_NRCS_2018’ project prepared by Quantum Spatial for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from a series of flyovers between 2018 and 2019 and were made available in 2021. Canopy density metrics include Canopy Closure (CC) and Leaf Area Index (LAI). Canopy Structure metrics include total gap area, mean distance to canopy, canopy edginess to the south and canopy edginess to the north. These data were used to partition 100 m grid cells over the same area for a snow melt model called SNOWMODEL. Each grid cell was portioned into 4 groups: (1) forest area; (2) open area; (3) forest edginess with a southern aspect; and (4) forest edginess with a northern aspect. The percentage of each group was quantified for each 100 m grid and values of canopy metrics for each group at each 100-meter grid cell were defined. These values include the mean, median standard deviation, 25 percent quantile, 75% quantile, and skewness of the 1m data for the 100m grid.

Publication Year 2023
Title High Resolution Canopy Structure and Density Metrics for Southwest Colorado Derived from 2019 Aerial Lidar
DOI 10.5066/P9ESQIAV
Authors Charles D Moeser, Graham A Sexstone
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Climate Adaptation Science Centers