Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists create satellite map to show Chesapeake Bay urban development

12.04.2006







The way in which buildings, roads, parking lots and other components of the built environment are integrated into communities impact a wide range of biogeochemical and hydrological processes. Among other effects, increased pollution discharge into streams has significant implications for the health of ecosystems. Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center have developed new high resolution maps of the built environment , expressed in terms of impervious surface cover, for the 168,000-square-kilometer Chesapeake Bay watershed, a region that has been highly altered by human land use.

According to Scott Goetz, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and lead author of an article in the current edition of Eos describing the work, "The information captured in these maps can be used to help mitigate impacts associated with the impervious nature of built environments, including reduced water quality, impoverished stream biota, and increased flood risk."

The new maps were developed for the region at 30-square-meter spatial resolution, and are currently being used for baseline monitoring and modeling activities in the Chesapeake Bay Program restoration effort. The Eos article focuses on use of the regional maps to assess the quality of a new national impervious cover map available at coarser (one-square-kilometer) resolution for the entire conterminous United States.



Patrick Jantz, a research assistant at WHRC and doctoral student at the University of California – Santa Barbara, notes that «the national map provides a unique view of the built environment from which useful information relevant to water quality can be derived, particularly applications related to monitoring land transformation and assessing watershed impacts. »

Goetz adds "These maps provide a unique view of the extent and intensity of the built environment, and the urbanization process which continues to rapidly evolve as exurban development expands into traditionally more rural areas. "

In a related paper in published in 2005 Environmental Management, Goetz and Jantz used the maps of impervious cover change between 1990 and 2000 to document the loss of forest and crop lands to expanding residential and commercial development. Another recent paper by Goetz and colleagues in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association documents how impervious cover impacted stream biology in hundreds of small watersheds.

In the same way that the regional map has informed various Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration efforts, the national impervious cover map has utility for incorporating landscape configuration information into large-area hydrological models and for improving a range of watershed management efforts. Current maps of the built environment provide a baseline data set upon which ongoing regional and national mapping efforts can be developed to better inform environmental policy, particularly those related to human modification of the landscape that have multiple impacts on aquatic ecosystems and water quality.

This work was partially supported by NASA’s Applied Sciences and Land Cover Land Use Change programs and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program.

Dr. Goetz works on the application of satellite imagery to analyses of environmental change, including monitoring and modeling links between land use change, forest productivity, biodiversity, climate, and human health. Before joining the Center, he was on the faculty at the University of Maryland for seven years, where he maintains an adjunct associate professor appointment, and was a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Patrick Jantz is currently finishing his master’s degree at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has worked as an intern with the Woods Hole Research Center since 2004. He will continue on at the Bren School for his PhD. He is interested in conservation planning and policy and the effects of development on biodiversity. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico.

Elizabeth Braun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.whrc.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
15.11.2018 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs
14.11.2018 | Uppsala University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>