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Spatial patterns of ice storm disturbance on a forested landscape in the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia

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Ice storms (major freezing rain events) periodically disturb forests in eastern North America. The damage may vary spatially, especially in complex terrain. This study uses satellite imagery to investigate spatial heterogeneity of forest damage caused by ice storms that affected the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia during 1994. The results display a region-scale (southwest-to-northeast) gradient in damage that apparently corresponds to a gradient in the depth of ice that accumulated during the storms. Damage also varied topographically, particularly by aspect. Damage was most extensive on east-, southeast- and south-facing slopes; at middle elevations; and on slopes of moderate steepness.

Keywords: NDVI; Virginia; forest disturbance; freezing rain; ice storm; topography

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3147, USA, Email:

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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