Evaluation of landsat imagery for detecting ice storm damage in upland forests of Eastern Kentucky

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Two categories of forest canopy damage (none to light vs. moderate to heavy) resulting from a 2003 ice storm in eastern Kentucky could be identified on readily available Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery using change detection techniques to evaluate the ratio of spectral bands 4 and 5. Regression analysis was used to evaluate several model formulations based on the spectral ratio and topographic variables for detecting the two categories of damage, which could be applied with a geographic information system. Results of this study suggest that moderate to heavy forest canopy damage caused by ice storms can be detected on sample plots from satellite imagery. Additional work is needed, however, to determine if these results can be used to produce an accurate landscape-scale map of canopy damage beyond the study area.

  • Citation: McNab, Henry W.; Roof, Tracy; Lewis, Jeffrey F.; Loftis, David L. 2007. Evaluation of landsat imagery for detecting ice storm damage in upland forests of Eastern Kentucky. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 69-76 [CD-ROM].

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