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REMOTE SENSING AND GIS IN THE REMEDIATION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONTAMINATION IN AN URBAN LANDSCAPE
Slonecker, E T. AND S. R. Hirsh. REMOTE SENSING AND GIS IN THE REMEDIATION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS CONTAMINATION IN AN URBAN LANDSCAPE. Presented at 19th Annual Symposium of the United States Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, Las Vegas, NV, March 31-April 1, 2004.
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.
During World War I, The American University in Washington D.C. was used by the U.S. Army as an experiment station for the development and testing of a variety of battlefield munitions including chemical weapons such as Mustard Gas, Phosgene, Ricin and Lewisite. After the end of the War in 1918, many of the weapons and chemical agents were haphazardly buried in and around the American University testing area which is now known as Spring Valley. In 19f)3, chemical-laden mortar shells were accidentally unearthed by a construction crew setting off a series of investigations that, to date, has cost over 40 million dollars and is still on-going. The EPA/Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center (EPIC) is supporting the on-going Superfund investigation efforts using a variety of spatial technologies including geographic information systems, historical aerial photo analysis, and hyperspectral remote sensing technology. Both conventional and research applications of remotely sensed imagery, along with GIS database developments, are playing a critical role in the discovery and removal of chemical weapons and contamination in this area. This presentation will document the use of historical imagery, GIS, photogrammetry and hyperspectral remote sensing in locating and removing these weapons from the environment and establishing a risk assessment methodology for on-going remedial activities.