Evaluation of Impervious Surface Estimates in a Rapidly Urbanizing Watershed

This study compares impervious surface (IS) estimates from a recently developed satellite imagery/land cover approach with a more traditional aerial photography/land use approach to assess a rapidly urbanizing watershed. The authors evaluated both approaches against a high-quality validation set consisting of planimetric data merged with manually-delineated areas of soil disturbance. The study area is the rapidly urbanizing 127 square kilometer Cub Run watershed in northern Virginia, located on the fringe of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Results show that photo-interpreted IS estimates of land class are higher than satellite-derived IS estimates by 100 percent or more, even in land uses conservatively assigned high IS values. Satellite-derived IS estimates by land class correlate well with planimetric reference data and with published ranges for similar sites in the region. The authors conclude that their results support the use of automated, satellite-derived IS estimates for planning and management within rapidly urbanizing watersheds where a GIS system is in place, but where time-sensitive, high quality planimetric data is unavailable.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Dougherty, Mark
    • Dymond, Randel L
    • Goetz, Scott J
    • Jantz, Claire A
    • Goulet, Normand
  • Publication Date: 2004-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1275-1284
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002045
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 14 2005 11:36AM