Integration of Multiband Imagery as a Means of Monitoring Wetland Resources for the Virginia Department of Transportation

Report No: 03-CR19

Published in 2003

About the report:

Digital multispectral imagery is a data collection technique that provides digital frame coverage in four spectral bands for color infrared imaging, allowing for the detection of soils, vegetation, water bodies, chemically contaminated areas, and various other resources. It is anticipated that using multispectral digital imagery technology for wetlands data collection will aid the Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) Environmental Division in meeting the increasingly stringent monitoring requirements placed on it by state and federal regulatory agencies. Previous research conducted by the Virginia Transportation Research Council and Virginia Commonwealth University concluded that multispectral imagery was technically feasible and significantly less expensive than traditional field methods. The primary objective of this research was to aid VDOT in implementing digital multispectral imagery to acquire some of the vegetation data required for the monitoring of its wetland mitigation program by determining the accuracy of the data collected with this technology and comparing it with data collected manually in the field. This was done in the hopes of convincing VDOT and the regulatory agencies that data collected by this means could replace some of the vegetation information currently collected manually. Multispectral imagery collected at a resolution of 1 m was found to be capable of identifying major plant communities in wetland mitigation sites with an accuracy of approximately 80%. Thus, it can provide more complete information on the major plant communities than can random field sampling alone. In addition, the decreased labor needs and costs associated with using multispectral imagery to collect data as compared to traditional field methods make the technology an effective tool in determining the vegetation composition of wetland mitigation sites.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

John E. Anderson, Susan A. Ridout, Jonathan L. Goodall

Last updated: December 1, 2023

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