MEaSUREs Wetlands ESDR

Project Description

An Earth System Data Record for Global Monitoring of Wetlands Extant and Dynamics

Project Summary: 

Wetlands exert major impacts on global biogeochemistry, hydrology, and biological diversity. The extent and seasonal, interannual, and decadal variation of inundated wetland areas play key roles in ecosystem dynamics. Despite the importance of thesewetlands imageenvironments in the global cycling of carbon and water and to current and future climate, the extent and dynamics of global wetlands remain poorly characterized and modeled, primarily because of the scarcity of suitable regional-to-global remote sensing data for characterizing their distribution and dynamics.

The NASA Earth science project's main objective is the construction of a global-scale Earth System Data Record (ESDR) of inundated wetlands to facilitate investigations on their role in climate, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and biodiversity. The ESDR is comprised of two complementary components. The first component consists of fine-resolution, 100 meter, maps of wetland extent, vegetation type, and seasonal inundation dynamics, derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for continental-scale areas covering crucial wetland regions. The contemporary-era mapping will use newly available data (HH/HV) from the Phase Array L-Band SAR (PALSAR) sensor mounted on the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). The second component is comprised of global monthly mappings of inundation extent at ~25 km resolution. These products will be derived from multiple satellite remote sensing observations including coarse resolution passive and active microwave sensors and optical data sets (e.g. ERS and SeaWindson-QuikSCAT scatterometers, AVHRR, MODIS) optimized specifically for inundation detection.

This ESDR will provide the first accurate, consistent and comprehensive global-scale data set of wetland inundation and vegetation, including continental-scale multi-temporal and multi-year monthly inundation dynamics at varying scales.

Data Product