Science Inventory

HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING FOR PLANNING AND LOCATING ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS

Citation:

Garofalo, D AND D B. Jennings. HIGH SPATIAL RESOLUTION SATELLITE REMOTE SENSING FOR PLANNING AND LOCATING ANIMAL FEEDING OPERATIONS. Presented at EPA Remote Sensing Conference, Above and Beyond, Las Vegas, NV, March 19-20, 2001.

Impact/Purpose:

The objectives of this task are to:

Assess new remote sensing technology for applicability to landscape characterization; Integrate multiple sensor systems data for improved landscape characterization;

Coordinate future technological needs with other agencies' sensor development programs;

Apply existing remote sensing systems to varied landscape characterization needs; and

Conduct remote sensing applications research for habitat suitability, water resources, and terrestrial condition indicators.

Description:


Surface runoff of animal waste and its infiltration into groundwater can pose a number of risks to water quality mainly because of the amount of animal manure and wastewater they produce. Excess nutrients from livestock facilities can lead to groundwater and soil contamination, algal blooms and anoxic water conditions, shellfish bed contamination, loss of water recreation activities, and possibly fish kills and human health dangers. The EPA is aware of this environmental risk and is addressing it with the USDA/USEPA Joint Unified National Strategy on Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs), revised effluent guidelines for feedlots, and revised CAFO permitting requirements.

Developing a cost-effective approach for locating and studying existing AFO's over a broad regional area is a first step for determining the spatial relationships between these facilities and water quality. A system which is capable of identifying and inventorying existing facilities and determining their geographic location and distribution with regard to other landscape conditions such as drainage, geology, soils, slope and vegetation, should provide important insight for assisting farmers and planners in reducing the environmental risks associated with existing and future animal feeding operations, respectively.

Our research focuses on the use of high spatial resolution IKONOS satellite data for: 1) detecting animal feeding operations; and 2) assessing landscapes associated with these operations. The research will also determine the cost-effectiveness of using this new tool versus other high spatial resolution remote sensing data such as aerial photographs.

Duplin County, North Carolina is our study area. The 1997 Census of Agriculture reports over 2 million swine present in Duplin County with approximately one out of every three farms associated with swine production. Past studies have linked problems of excessive nutrients in the Cape Fear watershed to these AFO operations. For this investigation, emphasis is placed upon building a quadrangle sized prototype (7.5'x 7.5', USGS quadrangle size) in a location where animal feedlots have a known presence and where an available archive of alternative remote sensing sources is known to exist. Additionally, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has a comprehensive inventory with latitude and longitude information which can be utilized for accuracy assessment purposes.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/ABSTRACT)
Product Published Date: 03/19/2001
Record Last Revised: 06/06/2005
Record ID: 61083

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY BRANCH