Morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in desert grasslands of southern New Mexico derived from scanning LIDAR

A. Rango, Mark Chopping, J. Ritchie, K. Havstad, W. Kustas, T. Schmugge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the 1880s rangeland vegetation in southern New Mexico has changed dramatically over widespread areas, typically with shrublands displacing native grasslands. Coincident with these changes in vegetation dominance are increases in soil erosion, stream channel cutting, and shrub coppice dune formation on sandy soils. Where marked transitions in vegetation type from grassland to honey mesquite shrubland have occurred, the local topography has been transformed with previously flat mesa becoming rolling duneland. The size, distribution, and morphological characteristics of these dunes have an important impact on fluxes of energy and nutrients at the surface; they also render the land far less useful as grazing land for domestic livestock. These shrub coppice dunes and the mesquite shrubs that grow on them may be considered roughness elements. Quantifying their morphology is important for the calculation of aerodynamic roughness length and displacement height. This article tests the ability of active scanning laser remote sensing techniques to provide accurate estimates of the three-dimensional shapes and areal distributions of dune and interdune areas. It shows that scanning laser with a footprint diameter of 0.38 m and a sampling interval of 1.5 m to 2 m can be used to measure the morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in the desert grasslands of southern New Mexico with acceptable accuracy and precision for a range of uses, including important geomorphological and hydrological applications. The use of scanning laser systems together with optical multispectral data is shown to be highly synergistic, providing information that is not easily obtainable via other suveying methods. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 2000.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-44
Number of pages19
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2000

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coppice
dunes
dune
deserts
shrub
shrubs
desert
grasslands
grassland
Scanning
Lasers
laser
lasers
shrubland
Surface roughness
roughness
Soils
shrublands
dune formation
Agriculture

Cite this

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title = "Morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in desert grasslands of southern New Mexico derived from scanning LIDAR",
abstract = "Since the 1880s rangeland vegetation in southern New Mexico has changed dramatically over widespread areas, typically with shrublands displacing native grasslands. Coincident with these changes in vegetation dominance are increases in soil erosion, stream channel cutting, and shrub coppice dune formation on sandy soils. Where marked transitions in vegetation type from grassland to honey mesquite shrubland have occurred, the local topography has been transformed with previously flat mesa becoming rolling duneland. The size, distribution, and morphological characteristics of these dunes have an important impact on fluxes of energy and nutrients at the surface; they also render the land far less useful as grazing land for domestic livestock. These shrub coppice dunes and the mesquite shrubs that grow on them may be considered roughness elements. Quantifying their morphology is important for the calculation of aerodynamic roughness length and displacement height. This article tests the ability of active scanning laser remote sensing techniques to provide accurate estimates of the three-dimensional shapes and areal distributions of dune and interdune areas. It shows that scanning laser with a footprint diameter of 0.38 m and a sampling interval of 1.5 m to 2 m can be used to measure the morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in the desert grasslands of southern New Mexico with acceptable accuracy and precision for a range of uses, including important geomorphological and hydrological applications. The use of scanning laser systems together with optical multispectral data is shown to be highly synergistic, providing information that is not easily obtainable via other suveying methods. (C) Elsevier Science Inc., 2000.",
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Morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in desert grasslands of southern New Mexico derived from scanning LIDAR. / Rango, A.; Chopping, Mark; Ritchie, J.; Havstad, K.; Kustas, W.; Schmugge, T.

In: Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 74, No. 1, 01.10.2000, p. 26-44.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Morphological characteristics of shrub coppice dunes in desert grasslands of southern New Mexico derived from scanning LIDAR

AU - Rango, A.

AU - Chopping, Mark

AU - Ritchie, J.

AU - Havstad, K.

AU - Kustas, W.

AU - Schmugge, T.

PY - 2000/10/1

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