Saint Francis Basin LULC Development

Funding Agency: US Army Corps of Engineers - Memphis District and GEC, Inc.

The Spatial Sciences Laboratory is contracted to develop and furnish a land cover map of the Saint Francis Basin for the Memphis district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE-MVM) through GEC, Inc.

Studies are routinely conducted by COE to determine the impact of implemented flood control and navigation structures on vegetation. Many of the lands managed by COE along the Mississippi River have been designated as wetlands by various federal legislative actions. Because they are wetlands, they must be monitored and protected. Toward that end, the COE periodically conducts studies to establish trends in land cover changes along the river. One such study is the vegetation mapping within the St. Francis River basin. This basin consists of approximately 4.1 million acres of lands and water located in southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas, west of the Mississippi River.

The Spatial Sciences Laboratory (SSL) contracted with the LMVD to map the vegetation in the St. Francis River basin using color infrared (CIR) aerial photography. Hard-copy CIR aerial photography was converted to digital format and geo-referenced to create a photo mosaic of the entire river basin. Thirty-five vegetation classes were delineated using "heads-up" digitizing. This represents a significant improvement in efficiency from traditional methods. The end result of this mapping effort is a seamless, digital, GIS database for the entire area.