Next Article in Journal
TecLines: A MATLAB-Based Toolbox for Tectonic Lineament Analysis from Satellite Images and DEMs, Part 2: Line Segments Linking and Merging
Next Article in Special Issue
Improved Wetland Classification Using Eight-Band High Resolution Satellite Imagery and a Hybrid Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Use of Satellite SAR for Understanding Long-Term Human Occupation Dynamics in the Monsoonal Semi-Arid Plains of North Gujarat, India
Previous Article in Special Issue
A New Method for Modifying Thresholds in the Classification of Tree Models for Mapping Aquatic Vegetation in Taihu Lake with Satellite Images
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

An Effective Method for Detecting Potential Woodland Vernal Pools Using High-Resolution LiDAR Data and Aerial Imagery

Dynamac Corporation c/o U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, 26 W. Martin Luther King Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
Department of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2014, 6(11), 11444-11467;
Received: 27 August 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 12 November 2014 / Published: 17 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Remote Long-Term Monitoring of Wetland Landscapes)
PDF [10153 KB, uploaded 18 November 2014]


Effective conservation of woodland vernal pools—important components of regional amphibian diversity and ecosystem services—depends on locating and mapping these pools accurately. Current methods for identifying potential vernal pools are primarily based on visual interpretation and digitization of aerial photographs, with variable accuracy and low repeatability. In this paper, we present an effective and efficient method for detecting and mapping potential vernal pools using stochastic depression analysis with additional geospatial analysis. Our method was designed to take advantage of high-resolution light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, which are becoming increasingly available, though not yet frequently employed in vernal pool studies. We successfully detected more than 2000 potential vernal pools in a ~150 km2 study area in eastern Massachusetts. The accuracy assessment in our study indicated that the commission rates ranged from 2.5% to 6.0%, while the proxy omission rate was 8.2%, rates that are much lower than reported errors of previous vernal pool studies conducted in the northeastern United States. One significant advantage of our semi-automated approach for vernal pool identification is that it may reduce inconsistencies and alleviate repeatability concerns associated with manual photointerpretation methods. Another strength of our strategy is that, in addition to detecting the point-based vernal pool locations for the inventory, the boundaries of vernal pools can be extracted as polygon features to characterize their geometric properties, which are not available in the current statewide vernal pool databases in Massachusetts. View Full-Text
Keywords: geographically isolated wetlands; seasonal wetlands; depression analysis; Massachusetts geographically isolated wetlands; seasonal wetlands; depression analysis; Massachusetts

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, Q.; Lane, C.; Liu, H. An Effective Method for Detecting Potential Woodland Vernal Pools Using High-Resolution LiDAR Data and Aerial Imagery. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 11444-11467.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top