Area changes of fresh water body in South Florida in recent 20 years based on satellite observations
Area changes of the fresh water body are impacted by many different factors. Two of the dominate factors are human activities and regional climate change. The fresh water body is essential to assess the health condition of the wetland ecosystem and to study the hydrologic balances in terrestrial land. The study is attempting to answer the following questions: How can we quantify the change of water surface area? How much is the change of water surface area within a specific time frame? What landcover types have been converted to water in that time period and what landcover types have been converted from water in that time period?
In this study, Land cover dataset derived from the Landsat TM images and the GIS are integrated to quantify the area changes of Fresh Water Body in Florida in the recent 20 years from 1992 through 2011. The Landcover Dataset was created by the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium led by USGS. The spatial resolution is 30 meter per pixel.
Satellite images and spatial analysis are combined together to retrieve the area changes of fresh water body and the conversion between different land cover types. The overall changes for Florida and the county level area changes for South Florida will be shown in the presentation. Of the 16 counties in south Florida, all of them saw a decrease of open water area between 1992 and 2001. Only Palm Beach, Monroe and Okeechobee saw a decrease of open water area between 2001 and 2011. On average, for the 16 counties in south Florida, the drop of water area between 1992 and 2001 is 1.4%. The increase of water area between 2001 and 2011 is 0.12%. The quantitative area changes of the Fresh Water Body will benefit the water resources management, environmental protection and ecosystem restoration in Florida.