Title of Abstract

Permafrost Based on Changes in Type and Density of Surface Vegetation

Poster Number

01c

Faculty Mentor

One WU mentor: Bryan McFadden, Ph.D.; mcfaddenb@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Mentor

Bryan McFadden, Ph.D.

Abstract

This project will use satellite datasets in order to highlight alterations to permafrost based on changes in type and density of surface vegetation. Permafrost thaws due to climate change is a lesser studied phenomenon that has effects well beyond the Arctic ecosystems where permafrost exists. Permafrost thaw destabilizes landscapes which results in damage to man-mad infrastructure and leads to erosion of landscapes. The bigger concern, and one that has global implications, is that these frozen areas contain a significant amount of stored carbon. As these areas melt, organic matter that has been trapped in the frozen ground begins to release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.This study will utilize satellite data from multiple sources to evaluate vegetation at several points in time. Data from the mid 1980’s will be acquired from Landsat 5 with more recent imagery acquired from Landsat 8. Spectral information contained within the data will be utilized to differentiate and quantify vegetation types. Ground truthing classification of the data will be done primarily through use of higher resolution satellite data (Pleaides-1) and ground photos taken during a summer field class in the summer of 2019.The study area is located in and around Churchill, Manitoba, Canada which is made up of three distinct eco-zones: Boreal Forest, Arctic Marine, and Arctic Tundra.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

ENVS 495 - McFadden

Start Date

16-4-2021 11:30 AM

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Apr 16th, 11:30 AM

Permafrost Based on Changes in Type and Density of Surface Vegetation

This project will use satellite datasets in order to highlight alterations to permafrost based on changes in type and density of surface vegetation. Permafrost thaws due to climate change is a lesser studied phenomenon that has effects well beyond the Arctic ecosystems where permafrost exists. Permafrost thaw destabilizes landscapes which results in damage to man-mad infrastructure and leads to erosion of landscapes. The bigger concern, and one that has global implications, is that these frozen areas contain a significant amount of stored carbon. As these areas melt, organic matter that has been trapped in the frozen ground begins to release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.This study will utilize satellite data from multiple sources to evaluate vegetation at several points in time. Data from the mid 1980’s will be acquired from Landsat 5 with more recent imagery acquired from Landsat 8. Spectral information contained within the data will be utilized to differentiate and quantify vegetation types. Ground truthing classification of the data will be done primarily through use of higher resolution satellite data (Pleaides-1) and ground photos taken during a summer field class in the summer of 2019.The study area is located in and around Churchill, Manitoba, Canada which is made up of three distinct eco-zones: Boreal Forest, Arctic Marine, and Arctic Tundra.