Mapping Canada's Rangeland and Forage Resources using Earth Observation

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Lindsay, Emily Jane




Previous efforts to create an inventory of rangeland and forage resources across the Canadian Prairies using EO have not achieved desired accuracies due to spectral reflectance similarities amongst the classes and partly as a result of the regional variability of climate, soil type and management practices. Field data related to land cover type and dominant species composition were collected during the 2015 growing season at study areas west of Brandon, MB and near Lethbridge, AB. Landsat-8 (LS8) multispectral and derived phenological variables, as well as mid-summer RADARSAT-2 (RS2) backscatter data were integrated into a Random Forest (RF) pixel-based land cover classification. The results of this study highlight the importance of spring optical image acquisitions to differentiate between rangeland and seeded forage in multi-date optical land cover classifications, as well as low performance of mid-summer RS2 backscatter for differentiating rangeland and seeded forage alone and in combination with LS8.


Remote Sensing
Physical Geography




Carleton University

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