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AVHRR Satellite Imagery for Vegetative Cover (Land Use) Mapping for CP3

Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer derived image of the United States

The above Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) derived image for the entire United States illustrates this satellite instrument’s utility for capturing broad vegetative and landscape types. Data from NOAA-11 satellite acquisitions were used along with the associated elevation and hydrological data in developing a CP3 domain land use layer. The NOAA Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES) collect data using AVHRR instruments. These data were attractive because of 1) their availability throughout a complete time sequence matching appropriate ground data and spanning the growing season throughout the continental US, 2) the approx. 1 km resolution promises reasonable detail for the CP3 landscape with acceptable file storage requirements, 3) extensive background research is available applying AVHRR for landscape characterization.  The AVHRR data used in CP3 were compiled by USGS as biweekly composites of the whole United States. They include five bands: red, near-infrared (NIR), and three thermal bands at 1 km resolution. This resolution was deemed appropriate for regional modeling and suitable to generate broad classes of land cover as required by the modeling effort.  The five bands captured by the NOAA-11 AVHRR instrument are represented by these example composite images from 1990.

AVHRR Imagery Examples for the CP3 Domain


To illustrate the nature of the land use identification, a number of vegetation images are presented next. The following images represent specific vegetative cover conditions as identified from AVHRR images from June and September of 1993.