2004 Progress Report: GIS and Terrestrial Remote Sensing

EPA Grant Number: R829458C007
Subproject: this is subproject number 007 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R829458
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EAGLES - Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico
Center Director: Brouwer, Marius
Title: GIS and Terrestrial Remote Sensing
Investigators: Yang, Xiaojun
Institution: Florida State University
Current Institution: University of Southern Mississippi
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: December 1, 2001 through November 30, 2005
Project Period Covered by this Report: December 1, 2003 through November 30, 2004
RFA: Environmental Indicators in the Estuarine Environment Research Program (2000) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Ecosystems , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration


The primary objective of the GIS and terrestrial remote sensing component of the Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico (CEER-GOM) is to develop a suite of large-scale indicators that can be integrated to quantify the anthropogenic impacts upon the estuarine ecosystems.

Progress Summary:

Linking Estuarine Water Quality Indicators With Landscape and Socioeconomic Metrics

The purpose of this research is to understand the causal relationship among upstream watershed landscape metrics, socioeconomic conditions, and downstream watershed water quality indicators. We target water quality because it is considered to be a significant factor determining estuarine ecosystem health. Preliminary work was done during Year 2 that considered chl-a only. During the period of April 2004 to April 2005, we extended the preliminary work and considered three critical water quality indicators for 2 different years. These indicators are: (1) total nitrogen, which is a measure of all the various forms of nitrogen that are found in a water sample (sum of NH 4, NO 3, NO 2, and organic-loading for nitrogen species); (2) chl-a, which is an integrated, surrogate measure of nutrient status; and (3) dissolved oxygen (DO), which is considered essential for the respiration of animals and bacteria in the aquatic environment.

We used both qualitative and quantitative approaches for mining information contained in the data set. Cartographic visualization techniques including 3D visualization, image draping, map overlay, and flyby animation are useful for enhancing our understanding of the complex human-environmental interaction in coastal areas. For quantitative analysis, we relied upon multivariate regression. We used equal overland flow distance rings as spatial observational units that were used to construct statistical “cases.” We found that landscape and socioeconomic metrics can explain most of the estuarine water quality variability. Human population and/or per capita income are frequently on the list of final predictors. CN (an effective rainfall estimation) is frequently on the list of final predictors. Land use patterns are closely linked with water quality indicators. We found that watershed landscape composition and spatial pattern have a fundamental impact upon water quality, but different indicators have different levels of linkage with landscape composition or spatial configuration. Specially, total nitrogen is strongly correlated with the proportions of agricultural, mixed forest, and wetlands. Chl-a is strongly correlated with impervious surfaces (urban land uses), mixed forest, and wetlands (percent and spatial patterns). DO is found to be strongly correlated with impervious surfaces and wetlands (percent and spatial patterns).

Estuarine Watershed Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling

We conducted a pilot research study to simulate the generation and transport of pollutants in overland flow to waterways (and finally the receiving basin) by using the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution Model (AGNPS) over a study area of 610 km 2 in size. This model has three major output products: runoff, erosion, and total nitrogen. The initial work has been quite successful.

Papers and Conferences

Dr. Yang edited a special edition highlighting the remote sensing and GIS research primarily conducted by investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Estuarine and Great Lakes Program (EaGle) Research Program. Investigators from four major EaGle centers and EPA headquarter have contributed to this issue. All papers collected in this issue were peer-reviewed using established procedures and criteria. This edition is expected to be published by the International Journal of Remote Sensing in late 2005. The International Journal of Remote Sensing is an international flagship journal in the field of remote sensing.

At the 2004 and 2005 annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Drs. Luoheng and Yang organized two special conference paper sessions dedicated to remote sensing and GIS applications for estuarine ecosystem analysis. These sessions were sponsored by three specialty groups of the AAG: Remote Sensing, GIS, and Coastal and Marine Environment.

Future Activities:

Our future work will focus on nonpoint pollution modeling and simulation. We will extend the geographic area into the entire Pensacola estuarine drainage area and consider several different watershed management scenarios. The simulations will be conducted at different levels of spatial resolution to investigate the scale impacts upon nonpoint pollution modeling. This will involve the use of a land cover transition model that will be loosely coupled with the AGNPS. We plan to report some further results at the Estuarine and Great Lakes Coastal Initiative meeting in this November.

Journal Articles on this Report : 6 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 17 publications 8 publications in selected types All 8 journal articles
Other center views: All 171 publications 54 publications in selected types All 48 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Yang X, Liu Z. Quantifying landscape pattern and its change in an estuarine watershed using satellite imagery and landscape metrics. International Journal of Remote Sensing 2005;26(23):5297-5323. R829458C007 (2004)
R829458C007 (2005)
  • Abstract: Informa World Abstract
  • Journal Article Yang XJ. Remote sensing and GIS applications for estuarine ecosystem analysis:an overview. International Journal of Remote Sensing 2005;26(23):5347-5356. R829458C007 (2004)
    R829458C007 (2005)
  • Abstract: Ingenta Connect Abstract
  • Journal Article Yang X. Estimating landscape imperviousness with remotely sensed imagery. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 2006;3(1):6-9. R829458C007 (2004)
    R829458C007 (2005)
  • Abstract: IEEE Abstract
  • Journal Article Yang X. Geospatial technologies for coastal and estuarine ecosystem analysis: status and research priorities. Journal of Coastal Research R829458C007 (2004)
    not available
    Journal Article Yang X, Liu Z. Use of satellite-derived landscape imperviousness index to characterize urban spatial growth. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 2005; 29(5):524-540. R829458C007 (2003)
    R829458C007 (2004)
    R829458C007 (2005)
  • Abstract: Science Direct Abstract
  • Journal Article Yang X, Liu Z. Use of remote sensing and landscape metrics to analyze estuarine landscape changing dynamics. International Journal of Remote Sensing . R829458C007 (2003)
    R829458C007 (2004)
    not available

    Supplemental Keywords:

    population, community, ecosystem, watersheds, estuary, estuaries, Gulf of Mexico, nutrients, hypoxia, innovative technology, biomarkers, water quality, remote sensing, geographic information system, GIS, integrated assessment, risk assessment, fisheries, conservation, restoration, monitoring/modeling, benthic indicators, ecological exposure, ecosystem monitoring, environmental indicators, environmental stress, estuarine ecoindicator, estuarine integrity,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Geographic Area, Water, ECOSYSTEMS, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, estuarine research, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Aquatic Ecosystem, Aquatic Ecosystems, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Monitoring, Ecology and Ecosystems, Gulf of Mexico, Ecological Indicators, monitoring, remote sensing, ecoindicator, ecological exposure, estuaries, estuarine integrity, Mobile Bay, Galveston Bay, CEER-GOM, estuarine ecoindicator, environmental indicators, environmental stress, GIS, restoration, water quality, estuarine waters

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/ceer_gom/ Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R829458    EAGLES - Consortium for Estuarine Ecoindicator Research for the Gulf of Mexico

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R829458C001 Remote Sensing of Water Quality
    R829458C002 Microbial Biofilms as Indicators of Estuarine Ecosystem Condition
    R829458C003 Individual Level Indicators: Molecular Indicators of Dissolved Oxygen Stress in Crustaceans
    R829458C004 Data Management and Analysis
    R829458C005 Individual Level Indicators: Reproductive Function in Estuarine Fishes
    R829458C006 Collaborative Efforts Between CEER-GOM and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Gulf Ecology Division (GED)
    R829458C007 GIS and Terrestrial Remote Sensing
    R829458C008 Macrobenthic Process Indicators of Estuarine Condition for the Northern Gulf of Mexico
    R829458C009 Modeling and Integration