An assessment of southern Oregon clearcut and shelterwood cut cover types using LANDSAT MSS digital and supporting aircraft data Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m900nx33n

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  • The feasibility of utilizing LANDSAT MSS data in assessing surface cover types and areal extent of clearcut and shelterwood cut harvest sites in southern Oregon was investigated. The research utilized extensive 'ground truth' information to evaluate the LANDSAT data. A three faceted ground truth collection scheme analyzed 1) U.S. Forest Service timber harvest records, 2) aerial photography, and 3) site inspection to evaluate accurately and efficiently LANDSAT MSS data. The utility of various scales of panchromatic, natural color, and color infrared vertical aerial photography were evaluated for use in cover type mapping of clearcuts and shelterwood cuts. The larger scale (greater than 1:30,000) natural color and color infrared were preferred over the smaller scale panchromatic. The evaluation of LANDSAT data in assessing cover types within harvest sites involved computer compatible tape processing on the Interactive Digital Image Manipulation System (IDIMS). The IDIMS has an interactive feature which proved to be most valuable in processing and classifying LANDSAT CCT's. One CCT, dated 10 September 1977, was used in the processing. Thirty-nine spectral classes were generated by IDIMS from training sets selected by the operator based on prior field work. The 'modified supervised' classification clustering technique permitted the residual stands, clearcuts and shelterwood cut cover types to be classified. LANDSAT minimum detection limits were analyzed for tree regeneration, heavy brush species, light brush species, and bare soil cover types. Shelterwood cut and residual stand cover types were also analyzed but in less detail. An accuracy check on the 1:25,000/39 class greyscale indicated a 92% accuracy figure for the greyscale symbols representing their appropriate cover types. There were 1251 pixels involved in the accuracy check of which 1146 were properly classified. LANDSAT area estimates of clearcuts were successful when the clearcuts on north and west aspects had compensated values to adjust for a reduced sun angle on these slopes and aspects. The LANDSAT area estimates of clearcuts on south and east aspects were successful without compensation for sun angle. LANDSAT area estimates of shelterwood cuts were not as successful as the clearcut area estimates. Limitations of LANDSAT data in assessing cover types within forest harvest sites include: 1) the integration of point radiation into a pixel size area, 2) the retention of the previous pixel information combined with the new pixel information, 3) the readjustment of the MSS to varying cover types, and 4) the raster array displacement. The LANDSAT scan line orientation and the manner in which it affected clearcut boundary resolution and placement were investigated. This research suggests that the application of LANDSAT MSS data in assessing cover types within clearcuts is possible when appropriate ground truth information and computer processing are utilized.
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