Dr. Laura Chasmer, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge, discusses the need for a multi-level classification for boreal wetlands, explaining that an accurate classification of rapidly changing land covers is "fundamentally important for quantifying how changes affect ecosystems". Accurate change detection is critical for: improving the accuracy of land surface models, quantifying human disturbance, and improving policy and planning.
Her first objective is to create a classification of wetlands, and use LiDAR data to understand topographic position, vegetation structure, intensity and texture of vegetation. Previous research in the discontinuous permafrost zone of the Northwest Territories demonstrated that the majority of the land cover could be accurately classified using only LiDAR data. The effectiveness of this method was tested against manually delineated wet areas from aerial photography, and using LiDAR was found to be more accurate and less time intensive.
Her second objective is a multiple scale approach that includes a classification of hummocks and hallows within individual fens, spectral analysis, and hummock and hollow species identification. When evaluated, the classification of hummocks and hollows was determined to be 87 percent correct and the hummock and hollow species classification was 60 percent correct. She is interested in doing further research on the subject.
This presentation was a part of the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre LiDAR/SAR Wetland and Water Monitoring Workshop of June 2014.