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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(10), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7100397

CO-RIP: A Riparian Vegetation and Corridor Extent Dataset for Colorado River Basin Streams and Rivers

1
Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
2
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
3
NASA DEVELOP Colorado Center, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
4
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
5
US Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 September 2018 / Published: 5 October 2018
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Abstract

Here we present “CO-RIP”, a novel spatial dataset delineating riparian corridors and riparian vegetation along large streams and rivers in the United States (US) portion of the Colorado River Basin. The consistent delineation of riparian areas across large areas using remote sensing has been a historically complicated process partially due to differing definitions in the scientific and management communities regarding what a “riparian corridor” or “riparian vegetation” represents. We use valley-bottoms to define the riparian corridor and establish a riparian vegetation definition interpretable from aerial imagery for efficient, consistent, and broad-scale mapping. Riparian vegetation presence and absence data were collected using a systematic, flexible image interpretation process applicable wherever high resolution imagery is available. We implemented a two-step approach using existing valley bottom delineation methods and random forests classification models that integrate Landsat spectral information to delineate riparian corridors and vegetation across the 12 ecoregions of the Colorado River Basin. Riparian vegetation model accuracy was generally strong (median kappa of 0.80), however it varied across ecoregions (kappa range of 0.42–0.90). We offer suggestions for improvement in our current image interpretation and modelling frameworks, particularly encouraging additional research in mapping riparian vegetation in moist coniferous forest and deep canyon environments. The CO-RIP dataset created through this research is publicly available and can be utilized in a wide range of ecological applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: riparian corridor; valley bottom; V-BET; Landsat; random forests; NAIP riparian corridor; valley bottom; V-BET; Landsat; random forests; NAIP
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    Doi: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3g55sv8
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Woodward, B.D.; Evangelista, P.H.; Young, N.E.; Vorster, A.G.; West, A.M.; Carroll, S.L.; Girma, R.K.; Hatcher, E.Z.; Anderson, R.; Vahsen, M.L.; Vashisht, A.; Mayer, T.; Carver, D.; Jarnevich, C. CO-RIP: A Riparian Vegetation and Corridor Extent Dataset for Colorado River Basin Streams and Rivers. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 397.

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