2006 vegetation condition in the Fraser River watershed, relative to the 1985-2006 average.

FSWP: Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program 

This 2-year project, conducted by ASL in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Simon Fraser University, and others, explored linkages between vegetation cover in Fraser River salmon-bearing watersheds and salmon growth and survival, using a 22-year long time series of satellite imagery from the AVHRR weather satellites. As well as providing novel insights to fisheries scientists and managers, the project generated image products of wider interest, illustrating spatial patterns of long-term vegetation change, damage from pests and disease, as well as events such as forest fires.

Services provided included:

  • Assembly and quality control of an NDVI time series for the province of British Columbia,
  • Derivation of image products for vegetation phenology, trends and anomalies, including the magnitude and timing of catastrophic loss,
  • Analysis of links between vegetation metrics and salmon survival.

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MARA

Land cover classification over Slave Lake, AB, from integrated optical and RADAR image data.

MARA: Multi-sensor Assessment of Reclaimed Areas 

The MARA project, funded by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) under Earth Observation Applications Development Program (EOADP), focused on development of improved Earth Observation (EO) products for the assessment of reclaimed industrial disturbances in Canada’s natural areas.
Earth Observation data from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical sensors were integrated to improve land cover classification in the boreal forest, by combining the spectral information from optical sensors with the backscatter information from RADARSAT-2. Study areas included sites in Ontario, Alberta, BC and Yukon.

The project resulted in the following advancements:

  • Development of strategies for EO monitoring of sites undergoing reclamation, based on specific needs of the site.
  • Demonstration of capabilities using the next generation Canadian SAR mission (i.e., o RCM – compact polarimetry mode);
  • Development of methodologies for multi-sensor data integration 


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Lake Huron

Top - Crop cover derived from May (top) and August (bottom) LANDSAT imagery.

Bottom - Forest cover map for the Inverhuron watershed. 

Lake Huron Land use Mapping 

In 2010, the Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (OME) conducted water quality surveys in the near-shore of Lake Huron adjacent to two areas of shoreline in Ontario. To facilitate the analysis and interpretation of the water quality data, and to understand patterns of repeated discharge variability season to season, the Ministry selected ASL Environmental Sciences to conduct a detailed analysis of land use features of the watersheds, remnant watersheds, and shoreline in two separate regions: the Point Clark watershed area and the Inverhuron area.

Services provided:

  • High-resolution orthophoto interpretation and digitizing of 10 classes of forest cover in two watersheds
  • Satellite based surface water temperature mapping
  • Satellite image analysis for assessment of water discharges into the lake and turbidity patterns
  • successfully mapped, classified and updated all of the land cover and land-use information required by OME, using a combination of multitemporal satellite imagery and digital orthophotos

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