Title

Vegetation classification and fire activity in the Blue Mountains of Oregon

Presenter Information

Christopher Goodner
Megan Walsh

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

fire history, paleoecology, forest management

Abstract

In order to help select study sites in the Blue Mountains of Oregon to be used for post-glacial paleofire reconstructions, we used ERDAS Imagine to map the current vegetation cover types of the region. Additionally, ESRI ArcGIS was used to show how the current vegetation distribution is related to 20th century fire activity. Phase one was to classify vegetation cover types of the Blue Mountains based on Landsat 8 imagery captured July 14, 2013. For our purposes, we used this to show the degree to which vegetation cover varies in both composition and structure between high and low elevation sites. The Forest Inventory and Analysis from the USDA Forest Service (USFS) was used for ground truthing the classification. Phase two involved mapping known fire locations from 1910–2012 from the USFS GIS Data Library. This process involved overlaying historic fire polygons on the classified cover types to assess the spatial distribution of recent fires in the Blue Mountains and their possible impact on the current vegetation mosaic. The final product of phase two is a map that displays the vegetation cover classification and fire history. The results of this analysis will be used to determine appropriate study sites for collecting lake sediment cores and completing macroscopic charcoal analysis to determine the Holocene (last ~12,000 years) fire history of the region. We expect the results of the paleofire analysis to show how the influence of fire suppression activities have varied between high versus low elevation sites in the Blue Mountains.

Poster Number

31

Faculty Mentor(s)

Walsh, Megan

Additional Mentoring Department

Geography

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Vegetation classification and fire activity in the Blue Mountains of Oregon

SURC Ballroom C/D

In order to help select study sites in the Blue Mountains of Oregon to be used for post-glacial paleofire reconstructions, we used ERDAS Imagine to map the current vegetation cover types of the region. Additionally, ESRI ArcGIS was used to show how the current vegetation distribution is related to 20th century fire activity. Phase one was to classify vegetation cover types of the Blue Mountains based on Landsat 8 imagery captured July 14, 2013. For our purposes, we used this to show the degree to which vegetation cover varies in both composition and structure between high and low elevation sites. The Forest Inventory and Analysis from the USDA Forest Service (USFS) was used for ground truthing the classification. Phase two involved mapping known fire locations from 1910–2012 from the USFS GIS Data Library. This process involved overlaying historic fire polygons on the classified cover types to assess the spatial distribution of recent fires in the Blue Mountains and their possible impact on the current vegetation mosaic. The final product of phase two is a map that displays the vegetation cover classification and fire history. The results of this analysis will be used to determine appropriate study sites for collecting lake sediment cores and completing macroscopic charcoal analysis to determine the Holocene (last ~12,000 years) fire history of the region. We expect the results of the paleofire analysis to show how the influence of fire suppression activities have varied between high versus low elevation sites in the Blue Mountains.