Science and Products
Mangroves have decreased worldwide due to human development, climate change and other forces. In southwest Florida, tremendous growth and development pressure has resulted in appreciable losses in mangrove wetlands.
While the historic focus of vegetation condition is the bulk live and dead compositions, these variables provide no information on the structure of vegetation (density and orientation). Canopy structure information is critical for monitoring status and trends, and essential in climate, weather, and ecological studies.
Remote sensing helps USGS scientists detect and map surface oil in coastal environments.
With the help of remote sensing, USGS maps the progression of marsh dieback along the Louisiana coast.
Marsh canopy structure changes and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Marsh canopy structure was mapped yearly from 2009 to 2012 in the Barataria Bay, Louisiana coastal region that was impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Based on the previously demonstrated capability of NASA's UAVSAR polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image data to map Spartina alterniflora marsh canopy structure,...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.
Wetland shoreline recession in the Mississippi River Delta from petroleum oiling and cyclonic storms
We evaluate the relative impact of petroleum spill and storm surge on near-shore wetland loss by quantifying the lateral movement of coastal shores in upper Barataria Bay, Louisiana (USA), between June 2009 and October 2012, a study period that extends from the year prior to the Deepwater Horizon spill to 2.5 years following the spill. We document...Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Ramsey, Elijah W.
Response and resilience of Spartina alterniflora to sudden dieback
We measured an array of biophysical and spectral variables to evaluate the response and recovery of Spartina alterniflora to a sudden dieback event in spring and summer 2004 within a low marsh in coastal Virginia, USA. S. alterniflora is a foundation species, whose loss decreases ecosystem services and potentiates ecosystem state change. Long-term...Marsh, Amanda; Blum, Linda K.; Christian, Robert R.; Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina
Radar and optical mapping of surge persistence and marsh dieback along the New Jersey Mid-Atlantic coast after Hurricane Sandy
This study combined a radar-based time series of Hurricane Sandy surge and estimated persistence with optical sensor-based marsh condition change to assess potential causal linkages of surge persistence and marsh condition change along the New Jersey Atlantic Ocean coast. Results based on processed TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed synthetic aperture...Rangoonwala, Amina; Enwright, Nicholas M.; Ramsey, Elijah W.; Spruce, Joseph P.
Marsh canopy leaf area and orientation calculated for improved marsh structure mapping
An approach is presented for producing the spatiotemporal estimation of leaf area index (LAI) of a highly heterogeneous coastal marsh without reliance on user estimates of marsh leaf-stem orientation. The canopy LAI profile derivation used three years of field measured photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) vertical profiles at seven S....Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri
Structural classification of marshes with Polarimetric SAR highlighting the temporal mapping of marshes exposed to oil
Empirical relationships between field-derived Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Leaf Angle Distribution (LAD) and polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) based biophysical indicators were created and applied to map S. alterniflora marsh canopy structure. PolSAR and field data were collected near concurrently in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.
Radar and optical image fusion and mapping of land cover and wetland resourcesRamsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina
Oil source-fingerprinting in support of polarimetric radar mapping of Macondo-252 oil in Gulf Coast marshes
Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) data exhibited dramatic, spatially extensive changes from June 2009 to June 2010 in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. To determine whether these changes were associated with the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, twenty-nine sediment samples were collected in 2011 from shoreline and nearshore–interior...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Meyer, Buffy M.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Overton, Edward; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri
Marsh dieback, loss, and recovery mapped with satellite optical, airborne polarimetric radar, and field data
Landsat Thematic Mapper and Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite based optical sensors, NASA Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric SAR (PolSAR), and field data captured the occurrence and the recovery of an undetected dieback that occurred between the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in the...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Chi, Zhaohui; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri
Coastal flood inundation monitoring with Satellite C-band and L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar data
Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) was evaluated as a method to operationally monitor the occurrence and distribution of storm- and tidal-related flooding of spatially extensive coastal marshes within the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Maps representing the occurrence of marsh surface inundation were created from available Advanced Land...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Bannister, Terri
Remote sensing survey of Chinese tallow tree in the Toledo Bend Reservoir area, Louisiana and Texas
We applied Hyperion sensor satellite data acquired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite in conjunction with reconnaissance surveys to map the occurrences of the invasive Chinese tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) in the Toledo Bend Reservoir study area of northwestern Louisiana and northeastern...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Bannister, Terri; Suzuoki, Yukihiro
Limitations and potential of satellite imagery to monitor environmental response to coastal flooding
Storm-surge flooding and marsh response throughout the coastal wetlands of Louisiana were mapped using several types of remote sensing data collected before and after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. These included synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data obtained from the (1) C-band advance SAR (ASAR) aboard the Environmental Satellite, (2) phased-...Ramsey, Elijah W.; Werle, Dirk; Suzuoki, Yukihiro; Rangoonwala, Amina; Lu, Zhong
A new USGS-NASA study found widespread shoreline loss along heavily oiled areas of Louisiana's coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and compared the erosion from the spill with coastal changes Hurricane Isaac caused in 2012.