Landsat 8 and WorldView-2: A Duo for Monitoring Invasive Tamarisk

Earthzine2015 Spring VPS, DEVELOP Virtual Poster Session, Managing Water Resources and Restoration

Category:åÊMonitoring Wetlands and Mitigating Floods

Project Team: Arizona Ecological Forecasting II

Team Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Multispectral and topographic data were used to generate environmental variables for model inputs. The above Landsat 8 and WorldView-2 Normalized Difference Water Index of Topock Marsh, Arizona, was one of the model inputs generated. Image Credit: Arizona Ecological Forecasting II Team


Stephen Chignell

Amanda West

Matthew Luizza

Melissa Haeffner


Dr. Paul Evangelista (Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Colorado State University)

Nicholas Young (Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Colorado State University)

Dr. Catherine Jarnevich (U.S. Geological Survey)

Past/Other Contributors:

Peter Gibbons

Brian Woodward


Havasu National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to protect a critical migratory bird stopover along the Colorado River in Arizona after the creation of the Hoover Dam depleted riparian habitat in the surrounding area. Invasive plants including tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) threaten native vegetation communities in the Refuge and alter hydrologic regimes. Land managers need maps to evaluate the current distribution of tamarisk and other species for inclusion in a decision-support framework. Remote sensing provides an efficient tool for conducting such work; however, land managers may have a limited background in this type of analysis, hindering the incorporation of these tools in management planning and action. We addressed this challenge in the Topock Marsh region of the Refuge by using and comparing Landsat-8 and WorldView-2 satellite imagery in species distribution models. The results from this work will provide important information at different spatial scales to facilitate the development of management strategies such as the Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan, and the unique methodology employed will support future monitoring efforts.

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