Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
INTEGRATION OF QUICKBIRD SATELLITE IMAGERY AND GIS TO MAP SUBZONES WITHIN A SALT MARSH NEAR WALLOPS ISLAND, VA
Mapping coastal marshes using remote sensing techniques provides a means of monitoring large coastal areas with a greater frequency than is possible using ground surveys. We compared high resolution Quickbird imagery to ground-based plant survey data (transects every meter on a 50 X 50 meter plot) collected in a salt marsh near Wallops Island, VA, to determine the ability to detect small changes in vegetation within low marsh and high marsh areas. An infrared false color image covering a large area of the marsh created from Quickbird imagery was pansharpened to increase the resolution from 2.4 m/pixel to 0.6 m/pixel. When we then overlaid the three detailed hand-mapped plots of vegetation on the pansharpened images, some of subzones of the low marsh and high marsh were clearly identifiable. The patterns that clearly correlated with distinct subzones in the ground truthed plots were then used to identify and quantify similar subzones in the available imagery covering a much larger area of the salt marsh. GIS would be the ideal platform with which to track and analyze this information over time. Several methods of integration will be explored to determine the most efficient and effective method to track the subzones. This method may provide a means of monitoring small scale changes in Wallops Island salt marsh subzones over time and provide a useful tool for wildlife managers in mid-Atlantic coastal habitats.