Development of a Bi-national Great Lakes Coastal Wetland and Land Use Map Using Three-Season PALSAR and Landsat Imagery

Bourgeau-Chavez, L, Endres, S., Battaglia,M., Miller, M.E., Banda, E., Laubach, Z., Higman, Chow-Fraser, P. and Marcaccio, J.V.
Remote sensing
2015 (7): 8655-8682; doi:10.3390/rs70708655


Methods using extensive field data and three-season Landsat TM and PALSAR imagery were developed to map wetland type and identify potential wetland stressors (i.e., adjacent land use) for the United States and Canadian Laurentian coastal Great Lakes. The mapped area included the coastline to 10 km inland to capture the region hydrologically connected to the Great Lakes. Maps were developed in cooperation with the overarching Great Lakes Consortium plan to provide a comprehensive regional baseline map suitable for coastal wetland assessment and management by agencies at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels. The goal was to provide not only land use and land cover (LULC) baseline data at moderate spatial resolution (20–30 m), but a repeatable methodology to monitor change into the future. The prime focus was on mapping wetland ecosystem types, such as emergent wetland and forested wetland, as well as to delineate wetland monocultures (Typha, Phragmites, Schoenoplectus) and differentiate peatlands (fens and bogs) from other wetland types. The overall accuracy for the coastal Great Lakes map of all five lake basins was 94%, with a range of 86% to 96% by individual lake basin (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior).