Landsat monitoring of albedo changes in northwestern Arizona, 1977-1980

Open-File Report 82-14



As part of a cooperative project between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management, changes in albedo (percentage of light reflected from the ground) were calculated and mapped from Landsat images for an area in northwestern Arizona for three periods: August 26, 1977, to September 3, 1979; September 3, 1979, to August 28, 1980; and August 26, 1977, to August 28, 1980. The mapped albedo changes were field checked in April 1981. Decreases in albedo were associated with increases in vegetation, primarily the flush of annual vegetation and the regrowth of vegetation in chained areas and sites of past fires. Increases in albedo were due to recent fires. Continuous monitoring of changes in albedo using current, rather than historical, Landsat images can provide the Bureau of Land Management with a means of monitoring vegetation growth, determining areas of high fire potential, and more efficiently deploying of field personnel to sites where severe changes are occuring in the quality of the land and vegetation resources. For example, an albedo change could be an indication of encroachment by an invader species. Similarly, it could indicate where rangeland is being lost to desertification.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Landsat monitoring of albedo changes in northwestern Arizona, 1977-1980
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 82-14
DOI 10.3133/ofr8214
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 14 p.