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The US Geological Survey is building models of the Florida Everglades to be used in managing south Florida surface water flows for habitat restoration and maintenance. Because of the low gradients in the Everglades, vegetation structural characteristics are very important and greatly influence surface water flow and distribution. Vegetation density is being evaluated as an index of surface resistance to flow. Digital multispectral videography (DMSV) has been captured over several sites just before field collection of vegetation data. Linear regression has been used to establish a relationship between normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values computed from the DMSV and field-collected biomass and density estimates. Spatial analysis applied to the DMSV data indicates that thematic mapper (TM) resolution is at the limit required to capture land surface heterogeneity. The TM data collected close to the time of the DMSV will be used to derive a regional sawgrass density map.
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Image and in situ data integration to derive sawgrass density for surface flow modelling in the Everglades, Florida, USA