Mapping coastal Great Lakes wetlands and adjacent land use through hybrid optical-infrared and radar image classification techniques

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



A mapping effort is underway through GLRI funding to produce an international contemporary baseline map of wetland type, extent and adjacent land use in the Great Lakes Basin. This includes all area within 10 kilometers of the U.S. and Canadian coasts. Improved mapping and monitoring of the Great Lakes coastal wetlands will be achieved through a fusion of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical/infrared satellite imagery. The combination of sensor frequencies complement one another in the identification of wetlands and adjacent land use. MTRI developed techniques to merge optical/IR and SAR for the mapping of Great Lakes coastal wetlands and adjacent land use in demonstration areas in 2004 for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Consortium (GLCWC). That pilot study demonstrated the improved capabilities of merging multi-sensor SAR and Landsat data for better wetland condition monitoring. A significant database of Japanese ALOS-PALSAR imagery and field validation/training sites has already been constructed for use in monitoring Phragmites australis on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes coastal zone. These data will be combined with Landsat 5 data and new field collections to achieve the final mapped product. Hybrid algorithms are currently being refined through analysis of a series of pilot study areas.

Publisher's Statement

© 2012 The authors.

Publication Title

IAGLR 55th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research