An integrated vegetation mapping approach for northern Alaska (1:4 M scale)

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A six-step integrated vegetation mapping approach is described for making a small-scale (1:4 million) map of northern Alaska. The method uses two primary maps: (1) a Phytogeographic subzones and Floristic subprovinces Map (PFM) adjusted to Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer false colour infrared (AVHRR CIR) imagery, and (2) an Integrated Vegetation-Complex Map (IVCM). The IVCM map-polygon boundaries are guided by information from a variety of remote-sensing data (AVHRR imagery, maximum greenness maps and classified images) and hard-copy source maps (surficial geology, bedrock geology, soils, percentage water cover). The map-polygon boundaries are integrated so that they conform to terrain features that are interpretable on the AVHRR CIR. The PFM and IVCM are overlaid in a geographic information system (GIS), and a series of derived maps is created through the use of look-up tables. Northern Alaska is a prototype area for the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Mapping (CAVM) project, which has a goal of producing a new vegetation map of the region north of the arctic tree line by the year 2001. The method could be modified and adapted to any region of the Arctic based on locally available information.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 15, 1999

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