Mapping Impervious Cover in Catchments Using High Spatial Resolution Aerial Imagery

Authored by: Jessica Morgan , Yeqiao Wang , Naomi Detenbeck

Fresh Water and Watersheds

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138337565
eBook ISBN: 9780429441042
Adobe ISBN:


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Understanding how spatial resolution impacts estimates of impervious cover (IC) is important for effective modeling and management of water resources at multiple spatial scales. In this chapter, we introduced an effective methodology for mapping high spatial resolution IC using the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery. We compared the NAIP-derived high-resolution IC result with the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) impervious cover classifications. This approach provided an improved accuracy in estimation of IC in catchments with different coverage of urban and suburban concentrations. The results demonstrated the need for higher spatial resolution IC data in water quality modeling and in watershed management.

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