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Secaucus, NJ, United States

Bliss N.B.,Eros | Maursetter J.,1729 S. Van Eps
Soil Science Society of America Journal | Year: 2010

Temperatures in high-latitude ecosystems are increasing faster than the average rate of global warming, which may lead to a positive feedback for climate change by increasing the respiration rates of soil organic C. If a positive feedback is confirmed, soil C will represent a source of greenhouse gases that is not currently considered in international protocols to regulate C emissions. We present new estimates of the stocks of soil organic C in Alaska, calculated by linking spatial and field data developed by the USDA NRCS. The spatial data are from the State Soil Geographic database (STATSGO), and the field and laboratory data are from the National Soil Characterization Database, also known as the pedon database. The new estimates range from 32 to 53 Pg of soil organic C for Alaska, formed by linking the spatial and field data using the attributes of Soil Taxonomy. For modelers, we recommend an estimation method based on taxonomic subgroups with interpolation fot missing areas, which yields an estimate of 48 Pg. This is a substantial increase over a magnitude of 13 Pg estimated from only the STATSGO data as originally distributed in 1994, but the increase reflects different estimation methods and is not a measure of the change in C on the landscape. Pedon samples were collected between 1952 and 2002, so the results do not represent a single point in time. The linked databases provide an improved basis for modeling the impacts of climare change on net ecosystem exchange. © Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

Velpuri N.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Senay G.B.,Eros
Environmental Research Letters | Year: 2013

This study investigates the long-term trends in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient in major urban watersheds in the United States. The seasonal Mann-Kendall trend test was performed on monthly precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient data from 1950 to 2009 obtained from 62 urban watersheds covering 21 major urban centers in the United States. The results indicate that only five out of 21 urban centers in the United States showed an uptrend in precipitation. Twelve urban centers showed an uptrend in runoff coefficient. However, six urban centers did not show any trend in runoff coefficient, and three urban centers showed a significant downtrend. The highest rate of change in precipitation, runoff and runoff coefficient was observed in the Houston urban watershed. Based on the results obtained, we also attributed plausible causes for the trends. Our analysis indicated that while a human only influence is observed in most of the urban watersheds, a combined climate and human influence is observed in the central United States. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Homer C.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Aldridge C.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Meyer D.K.,Eros | Schell S.J.,U.S. Geological Survey
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation | Year: 2012

Sagebrush ecosystems in North America have experienced extensive degradation since European settlement. Further degradation continues from exotic invasive plants, altered fire frequency, intensive grazing practices, oil and gas development, and climate change - adding urgency to the need for ecosystem-wide understanding. Remote sensing is often identified as a key information source to facilitate ecosystemwide characterization, monitoring, and analysis; however, approaches that characterize sagebrush with sufficient and accurate local detail across large enough areas to support this paradigm are unavailable. We describe the development of a new remote sensing sagebrush characterization approach for the state of Wyoming, U.S.A. This approach integrates 2.4 m QuickBird, 30 m Landsat TM, and 56 m AWiFS imagery into the characterization of four primary continuous field components including percent bare ground, percent herbaceous cover, percent litter, and percent shrub, and four secondary components including percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), percent big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), percent Wyoming sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Wyomingensis), and shrub height using a regression tree. According to an independent accuracy assessment, primary component root mean square error (RMSE) values ranged from 4.90 to 10.16 for 2.4 m QuickBird, 6.01 to 15.54 for 30 m Landsat, and 6.97 to 16.14 for 56 m AWiFS. Shrub and herbaceous components outperformed the current data standard called LANDFIRE, with a shrub RMSE value of 6.04 versus 12.64 and a herbaceous component RMSE value of 12.89 versus 14.63. This approach offers new advancements in sagebrush characterization from remote sensing and provides a foundation to quantitatively monitor these components into the future. © 2011.

McDonald C.P.,U.S. Geological Survey | Rover J.A.,Eros | Stets E.G.,U.S. Geological Survey | Striegl R.G.,U.S. Geological Survey
Limnology and Oceanography | Year: 2012

We analyzed complete geospatial data for the 3.5 million lakes and reservoirs larger than 0.001 km 2, with a combined surface area of 131,000 km 2, in the contiguous United States (excluding the Laurentian Great Lakes) and identified their regional distribution characteristics. For Alaska, we also analyzed (1) incomplete data that suggest that the state contains 1-2.5 million lakes larger than 0.001 km 2 covering over 50,000 km 2 and (2) localized high-resolution (5 m) data that suggest that the number of very small water bodies (< 0.001 km 2) may be comparable with the number of lakes > 0.001 km 2 in some areas. The Pareto distribution cannot accurately describe the lake abundance-size relationship across the entire size spectrum, and extrapolation of this density function to small size classes has likely resulted in the overestimation of the number of small lakes in the world. While small water bodies dominate in terms of numbers, they are not numerous enough to dominate in terms of surface area, as has been previously suggested. Extending our results to the global scale suggests that there are on the order of 64 million water bodies larger than 0.001 km 2 in the world, with a total surface area of approximately 3.8 million km 2. © 2012, by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

Gu Y.,U.S. Geological Survey | Wylie B.K.,Eros | Bliss N.B.,U.S. Geological Survey
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2013

This study assessed and described a relationship between satellite-derived growing season averaged Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and annual productivity for grasslands within the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) of the United States. We compared growing season averaged NDVI (GSN) with Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database rangeland productivity and flux tower Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) for grassland areas. The GSN was calculated for each of nine years (2000-2008) using the 7-day composite 250-m eMODIS (expedited Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NDVI data. Strong correlations exist between the nine-year mean GSN (MGSN) and SSURGO annual productivity for grasslands (R 2 = 0.74 for approximately 8000 pixels randomly selected from eight homogeneous regions within the GPRB; R 2 = 0.96 for the 14 cluster-averaged points). Results also reveal a strong correlation between GSN and flux tower growing season averaged GPP (R 2 = 0.71). Finally, we developed an empirical equation to estimate grassland productivity based on the MGSN. Spatially explicit estimates of grassland productivity over the GPRB were generated, which improved the regional consistency of SSURGO grassland productivity data and can help scientists and land managers to better understand the actual biophysical and ecological characteristics of grassland systems in the GPRB. This final estimated grassland production map can also be used as an input for biogeochemical, ecological, and climate change models. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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