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Large-area inventory of boreal forest carbon stocks in interior Alaska using G-LiHT data and forest inventory plots

Douglas Morton, NASA GSFC, (Presenter)
Bruce Cook, NASA GSFC,
Hans Erik Andersen, USDA Forest Service,
Robert Pattison, USDA Forest Service, Anchorage Forestry Sciences Laboratory,
Ross Nelson, NASA GSFC,
Andrew Finley, Michigan State University,
Chad Babcock, University of Washington,
Lawrence A Corp, SSAI,
Matthew E Fagan, NASA,
Laura Duncanson, NASA GSFC,

Interior Alaska accounts for approximately 15% of all US forestland. Due to the remoteness of this vast expanse of boreal forest (450,000 km2), interior Alaska is not included in the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. In July 2014, we initiated an innovative new approach to inventory boreal forest carbon stocks in Alaska with joint funding from the Forest Service Pacific Northwest Station and NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System. This partnership combines a sparse network of FIA plots with extensive coverage from NASA Goddard’s Lidar, Hyperspectral, and Thermal (G-LiHT) Airborne Imager. During the campaign, nearly 1,000,000 ha of high resolution (1m) G-LiHT data were acquired in a systematic survey of the Tanana Inventory Unit, with flight lines spaced approximately every 9 km (an 8% sample). G-LiHT flights were also coordinated with a range of state and federal agencies to maximize coincident airborne coverage with forest inventory plots of similar design (e.g., AK DNR, UAF, DoD, NPS, USFWS, and the Army Corps of Engineers). Here, we present initial results from the FIA plot and G-LiHT lidar data for the Tanana Inventory Unit, with an emphasis on forests within the Tanana Valley State Forest and Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge. Lidar-based estimates of forest structure and topographic complexity offer important insights into the diversity of resource environments and gradients of forest productivity across this heterogeneous landscape. Science objectives for the CMS project also include an evaluation of post-fire vegetation composition based on G-LiHT data coverage across 93% of large fires in the Tanana since 1950. We will present an initial analysis of lidar-based metrics of aboveground live and dead biomass as a function of fire history, including preliminary results for individual tree characterization (lidar) and analyses of forest composition (lidar + hyperspectral).

Presentation Type:  Poster

Session:  Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) Posters   (Mon 1:30 PM)

Associated Project(s): 

  • Morton, Doug: A Joint USFS-NASA Pilot Project to Estimate Forest Carbon Stocks in Interior Alaska by Integrating Field, Airborne and Satellite Data ...details

Poster Location ID: 179


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