Image Processing to Build a Multi-Temporal Vegetation Elevation Model (MTVEM) of the Great Lakes Basin

Jennifer Corcoran, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Brian Huberty, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Keith Pelletier, University of Minnesota; James Klassen, SharedGeo; Joseph Knight, University of Minnesota

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Though deriving ecosystem characteristics from stereo imagery has been demonstrated for decades, frequent mapping and monitoring in 3D has not been possible until very recently. By more frequently monitoring changes in the vegetation in the Great Lakes Basin with satellite remote sensing techniques, land managers will be capable of addressing emerging stand-to-landscape scale changes in valuable ecosystem habitats. The amount of data in a study area this size needed to be processed and analyzed is well beyond those available from most academic, private and government systems, and this computational need would be addressed with a leading-edge petascale resource such as Blue Waters. The results from this project will enable stakeholders to better understand their land with greater detail in three dimensions, thereby making management, conservation, and protection of important ecosystems as modern and effective as possible, enhancing the nation's natural resources for future generations.