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BOREAS Follow-On team DSP-09 mapped surface moss type at three scales (1 km, 30 m, and 10 m) based on observed associations between moss cover and land cover type. In the BOREAS Northern (NSA) and Southern (SSA) Study Areas, we utilized land cover derived from Landsat TM (30 m) and ground measurements/observations, soils maps, and field observations to establish associations between moss and land cover. At the BOREAS regional scale, the 1 km moss cover map was developed using a 1 km AVHRR land cover map for a 619 by 821 km subset of the BOREAS region. Our regional moss cover map is largely based on inferences from the 1 km land cover analysis and from ground observations in the study areas. The 30 m moss map covers the BOREAS Southern Study Area. The 10 m map covers the BOREAS NSA Old Black Spruce tower site.

Data Citation

Cite this data set as follows (citation revised on October 30, 2002):

Rapalee, G., F. G. Hall, L. T. Steyaert, and E. R. Levine. 2001. BOREAS Follow-On DSP-09 Moss Cover Classification at Three Area Scales. Data set. Available on-line [] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Table of Contents

  1. Data Set Overview
  2. Investigator(s)
  3. Theory of Measurements
  4. Equipment
  5. Data Acquisition Methods
  6. Observations
  7. Data Description
  8. Data Organization
  9. Data Manipulations
  10. Errors
  11. Notes
  12. Application of the Data Set
  13. Future Modifications and Plans
  14. Software
  15. Data Access
  16. Output Products and Availability
  17. References
  18. Glossary of Terms
  19. List of Acronyms
  20. Document Information

1. Data Set Overview

1.1 Data Set Identification
      BOREAS Follow-On DSP-09 Moss Cover Classification at Three Area Scales

1.2 Data Set Introduction
      This data set contains moss cover maps within the BOREAS region at three different scales: 1) a regional moss cover analysis for a 619-km by 821-km subset of the BOREAS region; (2) moss cover analysis for the BOREAS Southern Study Area (SSA); and (3) moss cover analysis for the BOREAS Northern Study Area Old Black Spruce (NSA-OBS) tower site.

1.3 Objective/Purpose
      The major objective of this study was to develop regional moss cover classifications at 1 km and 30 m scales for use by BOREAS investigators. By also including data at the even finer scale of 10 m, we demonstrate the spatial variability of moss within 1 km land cover pixels. Data at 10 and 30 m further demonstrate the under-representation of smaller wetland areas not detected at 1 km scale.

1.4 Summary of Parameters
      This data set contains information about the inferred spatial distribution of moss cover within the BOREAS region. The moss classes cover four broad groups: feather moss, sphagnum, brown moss, and lichen. Some classes are a combination of two of the groups.
      Moss cover classification maps were derived using: regional 1 km AVHRR land cover classification (AFM-12 documentation; Steyaert et al., 1997), Landsat TM 30 m land cover and biomass density data (TE-18), and 10 m soil map (TE-20; Harden et al., 1997).
      Reclassifying land cover images to the moss cover groups mentioned above takes into account similarities in soil drainage, forest cover, tree biomass density, landform, and soil texture. (See table in Section 7.3.2.)
      The 1 km moss analysis was based on regrouping the BOREAS AFM-12 AVHRR land cover as follows:

Moss Cover Class Moss Cover Class ID AVHRR (AFM-12)
Land Cover Class ID
Feather Moss
3, 9, 16, 17 
Feather Moss/Sphagnum Moss
Sphagnum Moss
Feather/Sphagnum/Brown Moss Mix
5, 6, 8, 10-14, 18-20 
7, 15 

Note: Missing are lichen (dry upland jack pine) and brown moss (fens). Class 4 on the moss map is the same as Class 4 in the AVHRR land classification.

The 1 km AVHRR land cover classes (AFM-12) are:

ID   Class Name
--   ----------
1    Wet Conifer (Low Stand Density)
2    Wet Conifer (Medium Stand Density)
3    Wet Conifer (High Stand Density)
4    Upland Conifer/Fen
5    Rock Outcrops/Bare Ground/Sparse Vegetation/Slow Regeneration Burn Areas
7    Open Water
9    Regeneration (North: Within Canadian Shield Zone)
11   Recent Visible Burn
12   Rangeland/Pasture/Hay/Aspen Patches
13   Mixed Agriculture/Predominately Grains
14   Mixed Agriculture/Predominately Pasture/Hay
15   Grassland Marshes
16   Mixed Forest (80% Coniferous)
17   Mixed Forest (50% Coniferous)
18   Mixed Forest (80% Deciduous)
19   Regeneration (South: generally south of Shield Zone)
20   Unknown

From the BOREAS TE-18 30 m (TM) physically-based land cover image of the SSA, moss cover classes are:

Moss Cover Class Moss Cover Class ID TM (TE-18) Land Cover ID
Feather Moss
3, 10, 16 
Feather Moss/Sphagnum Moss
9, 15 
Sphagnum Moss
Brown Moss (Fen)
4, 7, 8, 11-13 

The 30 m TM land cover classes (TE-18) include:

ID     Class Name
--     ----------
1      Conifer (Wet)
14        Deep sphagnum moss layer on clay
15        Poorly drained soils w/ sphagnum on clay
16        Moderately well-drained soils with feather moss over clay
2      Conifer (Dry)
3      Mixed (Coniferous and Deciduous)
4      Deciduous
5      Fen
6      Water
7      Disturbed
8      Fire Blackened
9      New Regeneration Conifer
10     Medium-Age Regeneration- Conifer
11     New Regeneration Deciduous
12     Medium-Age Regeneration-Deciduous
13     Grass
Classes 14, 15, and 16 in the wet conifers are derived from the SSA biomass density image (TE-18), where the range in wet conifer is from 1.4-17.4 kg m-2. Here, Class 14 represents the wetter sites, where biomass ranges from 1-6 kg m-2. Class 15 represents wet sites, with biomass ranging from 6 to 12 kg m-2. Class 16 represents the drier sites and biomass ranges from 12 to 17 kg m-2.
      From TE-20 10 m soil polygon map of NSA-OBS tower site, with moss cover classes from Harden et al. (1997):
Moss Cover Class Moss Cover Class ID TE-20 Soil Polygon ID
Feather Moss
6, 12, 19, 31 
Feather Moss/Sphagnum Moss
8, 13, 14, 17, 18, 22, 24 
Feather Moss/Sphagnum Moss (bog veneer)
15, 16, 20, 21, 23 
Sphagnum Moss
1, 7, 10, 25, 26, 29 
Brown Moss (fen)
2-5, 9, 11, 27, 28, 30 

The Soil Drainage and Moss cover map classes of NSA-OBS (TE-20) include:

1   Feather moss -- moderately well-drained, covering 31% of mapped area
2   Feather moss/Sphagnum moss -- imperfect to poorly drained, covering 15% of
    mapped area
2   Feather moss/Sphagnum moss (bog veneer) -- poorly drained, covering 30% of
    mapped area
3   Sphagnum moss -- poor to very poorly drained, covering 14% of mapped area
4   Brown moss (fen) -- very poorly drained, covering 10% of mapped area
Moss Cover Class The moss cover classes for the 10 m map listed above are based on soil drainage, site characteristics, landform, soil texture, and land cover. (See table in Section 7.3.2.) The percentages of areal coverage listed are from Figure 1 in Harden et al. (1997). For more detailed site information on this and other tower sites in the Northern Study Area, see BOREAS TE-20 Supplementary Soil & Site Information. (See Section 1.6.)

1.5 Discussion
      The moss cover data sets were developed from four sources:

  1. 1-km AVHRR land cover image that was derived from multi-temporal AVHRR and field observations as described by Steyaert et al. (1997). Field observations, collected during the pre-BOREAS operations in 1993 and BOREAS Intensive Field Campaigns (IFCs) of 1994, were the primary source of information to analyze, combine, and interpret the clusters according to land cover class. These field data were the primary source of information for Steyaert et al.'s (1997) analysis of regional forest fire disturbance-regenerating vegetation patterns.
  2. 30-m TM land cover image derived to characterize the successional and disturbance dynamics of the boreal forest for use in carbon modeling. A technique was implemented that uses reflectances of various land cover types along with a geometric optical canopy model to produce spectral trajectories. These trajectories are used in a way that is similar to using training data to classify the pixels into different land cover classes. The technique that was used to produce this data set can also be used to determine the amount of canopy cover within the given class and makes it possible to derive other biophysical parameters from the imagery.
  3. 30-m TM biomass density image of SSA. The pixels for which biomass density is computed include areas that are in conifer land cover classes only. The biomass density values represent the amount of overstory biomass (i.e., tree biomass only) per unit area. The technique that was used to create this image is very similar to the technique that was used to create the physical classification of the SSA. This technique involves the use of trajectories that can be thought of as a set of points in red/near-infrared space. Each of these points represents a linear combination of reflectances of three end members that make up the land surface. The three end-member features include sunlit canopy, sunlit background, and shadow. The points of the trajectory range from 0% canopy to 100% canopy. A geometric optical canopy model was used to determine the areal proportions of each of these elements. The trajectory "nearest" to each pixel of the Landsat TM image was used to derive the biomass density based on the amount of canopy that exists in a pixel.
  4. 10-m soil polygon image derived from aerial photographs and field observations from a soil survey. The TE-20 data set contains information about the spatial distribution of soil classes around the NSA-MSA and the NSA tower sites along with soil class properties such as parent material, landform, texture, slope class, and water table depth.
1.6 Related Data Sets
      The following links are to the documents for these related data sets. The actual data from these data sets can be found on the original BOREAS CD-ROM Set or at the ORNL DAAC.

BOREAS AFM-12 1-km AVHRR Seasonal Land Cover Classification
BOREAS TE-18 Landsat TM Physical Classification Image of the SSA
BOREAS TE-18 Biomass Density Image of the SSA
BOREAS TE-20 Soils Data Over the NSA-MSA and Tower Sites in Raster Format
BOREAS TE-20 Supplementary Soil & Site Information for NSA MSA and Tower Sites

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2. Investigator(s)

2.1 Investigator(s) Name and Title
Gloria Rapalee, Research Associate
Forrest G. Hall, Scientist
Louis T. Steyaert
Elissa R. Levine, Scientist

2.2 Title of Investigation
      DSP-9 Moss Cover Classification of the BOREAS Region at 3 Scales in Raster Format

2.3 Contact Information

Contact 1:
Gloria Rapalee
University of California, Irvine
Code 923
Greenbelt MD
(301) 286-0544
(301) 286-0239

Contact 2:
Forrest G. Hall
University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Greenbelt MD
(301) 614-6659
(301) 614-6695

Contact 3:
Louis T. Steyaert
U.S. Geological Survey --EOC
Greenbelt MD
(301) 614-6675
(301) 614-6695

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3. Theory of Measurements

The moss coverage was determined by using a combination of land cover classifications, a soil survey, and notes of field observations. The rationale for providing moss cover at three scales is to enable the user to both recognize variability in the landscape and to utilize the moss cover at the scale needed. These digital map data provide investigators with a continuous surface of moss cover parameters that can be used for modeling purposes.
      Please refer to the Theory of Measurements section of the BOREAS documentation submitted by the AFM-12, TE-18, and TE-20 science teams regarding the development of the land cover and soils data sets. See the related documentation for datasets listed in Section 1.6.

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4. Equipment

Please refer to the BOREAS documentation submitted by the AFM-12, TE-18, and TE-20 science teams regarding the items in this section as they apply to the land cover classification and soils mapping. See the related documentation for datasets listed in Section 1.6.

4.1 Sensor/Instrument Description
      Not applicable

4.1.1 Collection Environment
      Not applicable

4.1.2 Source/Platform
      Not applicable

4.1.3 Source/Platform Mission Objectives
      Not applicable

4.1.4 Key Variables
      Moss cover classes.

4.1.5 Principles of Operation
      Not applicable.

4.1.6 Sensor/Instrument Measurement Geometry
      Not applicable.

4.1.7 Manufacturer of Sensor/Instrument
      Not applicable.

4.2 Calibration

4.2.1 Specifications
      Unknown. Tolerance

4.2.2 Frequency of Calibration
      Not applicable.

4.2.3 Other Calibration Information
      Not applicable.

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5. Data Acquisition Methods

Detailed documentation of TE-18 and AFM-12 methods are available in the BOREAS documentation for the respective data sets. See Section 1.6 for list of data set names.
      A detailed report of the soils mapping effort in the NSA, submitted by Hugo Veldhuis (TE-20 Supplementary Soil & Site Information), is also available. Part 2 of the report (Methodology) provides detailed information about data acquisition methods. See Section 1.6.

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6. Observations

6.1 Data Notes
      The soils report by the TE-20 group provides observations and descriptions of soils. See Section 1.6. also TE-18 and AFM-12 documentation. See Section 1.6.

6.2 Field Notes
      The TE-20 Supplementary Soil & Site Information data set contains detailed field notes of the soil survey and a field manual. See Section 1.6.

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7. Data Description

7.1 Spatial Characteristics
7.1.1 Spatial Coverage AHVRR-based moss map, 1 km
      The regional 1-km AVHRR moss cover data are contained within a 672 row by 862 column raster image. The image contains the actual moss cover classes (pixel values 1-6) for a 619-km by 821-km subset of the BOREAS region, plus a set of zero-value pixels that form the boundary of the raster image. The subsetted land cover classification has a domain of approximately 52-57 deg. N and 96-108 deg. W, which includes the BOREAS SW-NE transect from southwest of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to northeast of Gillam, Manitoba.
      The corners of the data set are as follows. These coordinates are in the BOREAS Grid Albers Equal Area Conic (AEAC) projection.
                BOREAS Grid
Corner          X         Y 
Northwest    174.0707  785.4531
Northeast   1036.0707  785.4531
Southwest    174.0707  113.4531
Southeast   1036.0707  113.4531 TM-based moss map, 30 m
      The moss cover image of the SSA covers an area that is approximately 144 km by 114 km and includes areas just north of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The corners of the data set are below. The BOREAS Grid coordinates are in the AEAC projection described in section 7.1.4.

               BOREAS Grid
 Corner        X         Y        Longitude   Latitude
Northwest    297.810   392.490    106.401° W  54.438° N
Northeast    441.810   392.490    104.190° W  54.333° N
Southwest    297.810   278.490    106.515° W  53.417° N
Southeast    441.810   278.490    104.357° W  53.314° N Ground-based moss map, 10 m
      The moss cover image of the NSA-OBS is projected in the BOREAS Grid system and is bounded by the following points. These coordinates are based on the NAD83 datum.

                 BOREAS Grid
 Corner          X         Y       Longitude    Latitude
Northwest     777.540   614.230    98.48997° W  55.88746° N
Northeast     778.840   614.230    98.46950° W  55.88538° N
Southwest     777.540   612.930    98.49369° W  55.87599° N
Southeast     778.840   612.930    98.47323° W  55.87390° N

7.1.2 Spatial Coverage Map

7.1.3 Spatial Resolution
NSA-OBS -- each pixel represents a 10-meter by 10-meter area on the ground.
SSA TM -- each pixel represents a 30-meter by 30-meter area on the ground.
Regional AVHRR -- each pixel represents a 1-km by 1-km area on the ground.

7.1.4 Projection
      The area mapped in each image is projected in the Albers Equal-Area Conic (AEAC) projection. For the 1-km AVHRR image, the projection has the following parameters:

Datum: None
Ellipsoid: Sphere
Origin:   111.000° W  51.000° N
Standard Parallels: 52° 30' 00" N
                    58° 30' 00" N
Units of Measure: kilometers
It is important to emphasize that the 1-km AVHRR image is projected using a Sphere as the Earth model and not the WGS84 ellipsoid used for most other BOREAS data sets (see below). The other projection parameters listed above are the same as many other BOREAS georeferenced data sets. This difference in Earth models used can result in spatial misregistration of approximately 2 to 4 pixels. This difference should be considered when comparing this classification to other georeferenced imagery. See AFM-12 documentation.

Both the 30 and 10 m moss maps are projected in the BOREAS Grid projection, which is based on the ellipsoidal version of the AEAC projection. The projection has the following parameters:

Datum:  NAD83
Ellipsoid:  Geodetic Reference System of 1980 (GRS80) or Worldwide Geodetic
            System of 1984 (WGS84)
Origin:   111.000° W  51.000° N
Standard Parallels:  52° 30' 00"N
                     58° 30' 00"N
Units of Measure:  kilometers

7.1.5 Grid Description
      The data are referenced to the BOREAS Grid described in section 7.1.4.

7.2 Temporal Characteristics

7.2.1 Temporal Coverage AHVRR-based moss map, 1 km
      Monthly NDVI image composites for the period April-September 1992 were used to develop the input 1992 1-km AVHRR/land cover data set (AFM-12). TM-based moss map, 30 m
      The TM image of the SSA that this product was based on was collected on 02-Sep-1994. The scene is a Path 37, Row 22-23 (shifted) scene of the Landsat World Reference System (WRS). The solar elevation angle at the time of image acquisition was 40.1 degrees. The solar azimuth angle was 146 degrees. Ground-based moss map, 10 m
      Field samples for mapping the soils of the NSA-OBS tower site were collected in 1994. The aerial photos used to map the land cover associations of the OBS tower site were taken in 1971 and 1972 at a scale of 1:15,840.

7.2.2 Temporal Coverage Map

7.2.3 Temporal Resolution AHVRR-based moss map, 1 km
      Monthly NDVI image composites for the period April-September, 1992 were used to develop the 1992 1-km AVHRR/land cover data set. TM-based moss map, 30 m
      The TE-18 data set represents the land cover and biomass density as it existed on 02-Sep-1994. Ground-based moss map, 10 m
      The aerial photos used to map the OBS tower site were taken in 1971 and 1972 at a scale of 1:15,840.

7.3 Data Characteristics

7.3.1 Parameter/Variable
     Moss Cover Type.

7.3.2 Variable Description/Definition
     The moss cover classes listed in Section 1.4 can be grouped into four broad categories consisting of: (1) feather moss; (2) sphagnum moss; (3) brown moss; and (4) lichen. Feather Moss
      Feather moss (Pleurozium, Hyclomium spp.) is the dominant ground cover associated with three of the AFM-12 AVHRR vegetation mosaics: (i) wet conifer, (ii) mixed coniferous-deciduous, and (iii) regeneration (in the north within the Canadian Shield Zone).
      Descriptions of these mosaics directly follow as taken from Steyaert et al. (1997) and AFM-12 documentation (see Section 1.6):
  1. "The AVHRR wet conifer mosaic consists of black spruce and various embedded subpixel fens and bogs, scattered tamarack (Larix laricina), mixed water-vegetation pixels, small pockets of dry jack pine (Pinus banksiana) on sandy hilltops, and scattered deciduous trees. This mosaic is characterized by the very consistent vegetative patterns in the 'low lying' areas (black spruce, fens, and bogs) as opposed to more upland terrain (more productive black spruce in combination with jack pine on sandy soils and scattered deciduous trees) environments throughout the entire BOREAS region. This classification does not resolve in all cases these 'lowland' versus 'upland' components of the wet conifer mosaic. The subpixel fens, bogs, and small water bodies are also not resolved in this classification.

  2.       Based on extensive field data, the 1-km AVHRR spectral-temporal clusters do permit the characterization of the wet conifer mosaic into 'low', 'medium,' and 'high' tree density levels (Classes 1-3, respectively)." (Steyaert et al., 1997; AFM-12 documentation).
          Tree density levels correspond with drainage class and, hence, moss cover. In the wet conifer mosaic of the BOREAS region, feather moss is found in the upland moderately well-drained sites with high density tree cover; a mix of feather and sphagnum (Sphagnum spp.) mosses in imperfectly and poorly drained sites with medium density tree cover; and sphagnum moss in low lying areas with low density tree cover.
          Although feather moss is the dominant ground cover, the user is advised that there are pockets of each moss type in the wet conifer mosaics and that there is significant lichen (Cladina spp.) in medium density spruce stands near Cree Lake and northwest of La Ronge in Saskatchewan.
  3. "The AVHRR mixed coniferous-deciduous forest mosaic consists of 80 percent conifer-20 percent deciduous (Class 16) and codominant mixed forest (Class 17). These mixed forest classes are generally distributed along a southwest-northeast gradient ranging from deciduous dominant in the south to coniferous dominant in the north. The effects of forest succession are evident in this mixed class, especially in stands with mature deciduous trees and successional spruce under the deciduous canopy. In the northern extremes, this AVHRR mixed forest (Class 16) is predominantly upland black spruce with scattered jack pine on sandy soils and approximately 20 percent aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) with scattered birch (Betula papyrifera) and balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera) trees. These trees are typically on rocky hills throughout the central and northern portions of the BOREAS region. The mixed forest class in the central region (Class 17) consists of codominant coniferous and deciduous trees that are quite well developed. The conifers are dominated by tall jack pine, black spruce, and some white spruce (Picea glauca), while the deciduous trees consist of mature aspen and birch." (Steyaert et al., 1997; AFM-12 documentation)
  4. "The regeneration mosaic includes individual land cover classes for fire disturbance-regenerating vegetation patches in the north (AVHRR Class 9) that are located within the Canadian Shield Zone and are typically associated with old burns of various ages. This mixed vegetation class consists of jack pine, aspen, and young black spruce trees. The stand density and tree sizes depend on the age of the burn and the soil conditions. The jack pine and aspen trees are taller than young black spruce." (Steyaert et al., 1997; AFM-12 documentation) Sphagnum Moss
      Sphagnum mosses are found in poorly to very poorly drained sites with low density black spruce cover of the AVHRR wet conifer mosaic (Class 1) discussed in (i) above. These sites are level to gently sloping on clayey, peaty Luvic Gleysols and Terric Mesic Fibrisols. Here, sphagnum is dominant and may be mixed with feather and other mosses.
      Sphagnum moss cover is also found on peatlands consisting of varying peat materials that are well- to poorly-drained at the surface, and have frozen peat and/or mineral at depth (palsas and peat plateau bogs) with Fibric and Mesic Organic Cryosols. Here, sphagnum is the dominant ground cover and may be mixed with feather moss at the drier sites. Forest cover is black spruce. Brown Moss
      Brown mosses (Depranocladus spp.) and sedges (Carex spp.) are found in the very poorly drained fens and permafrost collapse scar bogs with deep Typic Fibrisols.
      In the 1-km AVHRR classification brown mosses are found within Class 4 (upland conifer/fen), described below within the mixed feather/sphagnum/brown moss class. Because fens and collapse bogs are often smaller than 1 km2, these wetlands are not always detected on the 1-km AVHRR classification. At the 30-m scale of the TM classification, however, areas with brown moss and sedges are found in the land cover class 5 (Fen). Lichen
      Lichens are found in upland, well-drained sites on sandy Eluviated Dystric Brunisols with jack pine cover.
      Areas of lichen cover show up best in the dry conifer (jack pine dominant) sites (Class 2) of the TM land cover classification. Feather/Sphagnum/Brown Moss Mix
      DSP-09 mapped the AVHRR upland conifer/fen class (Class 4) as feather/sphagnum/brown moss mix because this AVHRR class is a result of landscape elements with a patch size distribution falling below the 1 to 4 km spatial resolution of the composited AVHRR images used for classification. The upland conifer consists primarily of spruce and jack pine stands growing on moderately well-drained loamy soils with a feather moss background. Patches of fen mixed within the upland conifer AVHRR pixels are dominated by brown and sphagnum mosses.
      The table below summarizes moss cover classes described in this section.

Moss Cover Types

Moss Cover Drainage Forest Cover Tree Biomass
Landform Soil
Feather Moss Moderately Well Spruce, Mixed
Spruce/Jack Pine
High Upland Clay
Feather Moss/ 
Sphagnum Moss
Imperfect Spruce Medium Upland Clay
Sphagnum Moss/
Feather Moss
Poor Spruce Low Bog Veneer Clay
Brown Moss Very Poor --- --- Fen Clay
Lichen Well
Moderately Well
Jack Pine
Compiled from: Harden et al. (1997), TE-18, and Rapalee et al. (1998).

7.3.3 Unit of Measurement
     Moss cover type is unitless.

7.3.4 Data Source
     AVHRR imagery was received from EROS Data Center, USGS, Sioux Falls, SD. Landsat-5 TM scene on 02-Sep-1994 from the CCRS. Aerial photography was acquired by Hugo Veldhuis. No additional information is available about this photography.

7.3.5 Data Range

Moss Map               Value Range
-------------------    -----------
1-km AVHRR                0-6
30-m TM                   0-7
10-m ground-base maps     0-4
Boundary pixels have values of zero.

7.4 Sample Data Record
     Not applicable to image data.

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8. Data Organization

8.1 Data Granularity
      There is one image file for each of the 3 different scales of moss maps.

8.2 Data Format(s)
      This BOREAS moss cover classification data set contains 4 files as follows:

File 1      0_readme.txt
            80-byte American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) 
            text records

File 2      moss_avhrr.img
            672 records of 862 bytes each
            1 byte per pixel

File 3      moss_ssa.img
            3,800 records of 4,800 bytes each
            1 byte per pixel

File 4      moss_nsa-obs.img
            130 records of 130 bytes each
            1 byte per pixel
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9. Data Manipulations

9.1 Formulae
9.1.1 Derivation Techniques and Algorithms

9.2 Data Processing Sequence

9.2.1 Processing Steps

9.2.2 Processing Changes

9.3 Calculations

9.3.1 Special Corrections/Adjustments

9.3.2 Calculated Variables

9.4 Graphs and Plots

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10. Errors

10.1 Sources of Error
      The sources of error in the moss classification could be the result of a number of factors. Errors in land cover mapping could be the result of spectral mixing of various features that fall within a 1-km pixel. The spectral signature of one feature could also be similar to that of another feature, resulting in confusion. The similarity in spectral signatures could be the result of similar background components and variations in tree density.
      The locational accuracy of the AVHRR-based product may be off by as much as 3 or 4 pixels due to the compositing of the multi-temporal data.
      The accuracy of the 1-km moss classes depend in part on the reliability of the moss and land cover associations. In addition, the 1-km moss analysis is constrained by the limitations of the input land cover classes.

10.2 Quality Assessment

10.2.1 Data Validation by Source
      See the Data Validation by Source section of the documentation for BOREAS-related data sets of AFM-12, TE-18, and TE-20 science teams. (See Section 1.6.)

10.2.2 Confidence Level/Accuracy Judgment
      Although efforts have been made to make the moss cover classification as accurate as possible, there is bound to be some confusion between classes used to infer moss cover. The most noticeable problem is confusion between dense jack pine and dense black spruce in the land cover classifications (AFM-12 and TE-18). Spectrally, they are very similar. Hence, classification for the 1-km moss cover image includes a "Feather/Sphagnum/Brown Moss Mix" class.

10.2.3 Measurement Error for Parameters
      Not applicable.

10.2.4 Additional Quality Assessments

10.2.5 Data Verification by Data Center

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11. Notes

11.1 Limitations of the Data
      The 1-km and 30-m moss cover products are intended to characterize general spatial patterns; therefore, detailed analysis at the pixel level is not advised.
      In the case of the 1 km map, moss classifications are based on inferences of moss cover that is likely to occur within the imbedded mosaics of the land cover image.

11.2 Known Problems with the Data
      See relevant sections in BOREAS documentation or the related data sets of AFM-12, TE-18, and TE-20. (See Section 1.6.)

11.3 Usage Guidance
      Before uncompressing the files, be sure that you have enough disk space to hold the uncompressed data files. Then use the appropriate decompression software for your specific system.

11.4 Other Relevant Information

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12. Application of the Data Set

This data set was created for BOREAS investigators who need moss cover data of the BOREAS region for further modeling.

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13. Future Modifications and Plans

None given.

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14. Software

14.1 Software Description
      IDRISI GIS software was used to reclassify the AVHRR (AFM-12) and TM (TE-18) land cover images and the soil polygon image of the NSA-OBS tower site (TE-20).

14.2 Software Access
      IDRISI is available from:

Clark Labs
Clark University
950 Main St.
Worcester MA 01610-1477
508-793-8842 (fax)
Web site:[Internet Link]

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15. Data Access

15.1 Contact for Data Center/Data Access Information
      These BOREAS data are available from the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOS-DIS) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). The BOREAS contact at ORNL is:

ORNL DAAC User Services
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
(865) 241-3952

15.2 Procedures for Obtaining Data
      BOREAS data may be obtained through the ORNL DAAC World Wide Web site at [Internet Link] or users may place requests for data by telephone or electronic mail.

15.3 Output Products and Availability
      Requested data can be provided electronically on the ORNL DAAC's anonymous FTP site or on various media including, CD-ROMs, 8-MM tapes, or diskettes.

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16. Output Products and Availability

16.1 Tape Products
      The moss image data are available on 8-mm tape media.

16.2 Film Products

16.3 Other Products

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17. References

17.1 Platform/Sensor/Instrument/Data Processing Documentation
Eastman. J. R., IDRISI for Windows User's Guide (Version 2.0, Revision 5). December 1997. The Clark Labs for Cartographic Technology and Geographic Analysis, Clark University, Worcester MA.

Welch, T.A. 1984, A Technique for High Performance Data Compression, IEEE Computer, Vol. 17, No. 6, pp. 8-19.

17.2 Journal Articles and Study Reports
Bubier, J. L., T. R. Moore, L. Bellisario, N. T. Comer, and P. M. Crill, Ecological controls on methane emissions from a northern peatland complex in the zone of discontinuous permafrost, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 9, 455-470, 1995.

Bubier, J. L., B. N. Rock, and P. M. Crill, Spectral reflectance measurements of boreal wetland and forest mosses, Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (D24), 29,483-29,494, 1997.

Hall, F. G., D. E. Knapp, and K. F. Huemmrich, Physically based classification and satellite mapping of biophysical characteristics in the southern boreal forest, Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (D24), 29,567-29,580, 1997.

Harden, J. W., K. P. O'Neill, S. E. Trumbore, H. Veldhuis, and B. J. Stocks, Moss and soil contributions to the annual net flux of a maturing boreal forest, Journal of Geophysical Research, 102 (D24), 28,805-28,816, 1997.

Rapalee, G., S. E. Trumbore, E. A. Davidson, J. W. Harden, and H. Veldhuis, Soil carbon stocks and their rates of accumulation and loss in a boreal forest landscape, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 12 (4), 687701, 1998.

Sellers, P. and F. Hall, BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: Experiment Plan, Version 1994-3.0, NASA BOREAS Report (EXPLAN 94), 1994.

Sellers, P., F. Hall, H. Margolis, B. Kelly, D. Baldocchi, G. den Hartog, J. Cihlar, M.G. Ryan, B. Goodison, P. Crill, K. J. Ranson, D. Lettenmaier, and D. E. Wickland, The boreal ecosystem-atmosphere study (BOREAS): an overview and early results from the 1994 field year, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 76 (9), 1549-1577, 1995.

Sellers, P., F. Hall, and K. F. Huemmrich, BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1994 Operations, NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 94), 1996.

Sellers, P. and F. Hall, BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: Experiment Plan, Version 1996-2.0, NASA BOREAS Report (EXPLAN 96), 1996.

Sellers, P., F. Hall, and K. F. Huemmrich, BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1996 Operations, NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 96), 1997.

Sellers, P. J., F. G. Hall, R. D. Kelly, A. Black, D. Baldocchi, J. Berry, M. Ryan, K. J. Ranson, P. M. Crill, D. P. Lettenmaier, H. Margolis, J. Cihlar, J. Newcomer, D. Fitzjarrald, P. G. Jarvis, S. T. Gower, D. Halliwell, D. Williams, B. Goodison, D. E. Wickland, and F. E. Guertin, BOREAS in 1997: Experiment overview, scientific results and future directions, Journal of Geophysical Research, BOREAS Special Issue, 102 (D24), 28,731-28,770, 1997.

Steyaert, L. T., F. G. Hall, and T. R. Loveland, Land cover mapping, fire regeneration, and scaling studies in the Canadian boreal forest with 1 km AVHRR and Landsat TM data, Journal of Geophysical Research, BOREAS Special Issue, 102 (D24), 29,581-29,598, 1997.

17.3 Archive/DBMS Usage Documentation

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18. Glossary of Terms


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19. List of Acronyms

   AEAC      - Albers Equal Area Conic
   AFM       - Airborne Fluxes and Meteorology
   APT       - Automatic Picture Transmission
   ASCII     - American Standard Code for Information Interchange
   BOREAS    - Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study
   BORIS     - BOREAS Information System
   BPI       - Bytes Per Inch
   CCRS      - Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing
   CD-ROM    - Compact Disk-Read-Only-Memory
   DAAC      - Distributed Active Archive Center
   DAT       - Digital Archive Tape
   DEM       - Digital Elevation Model
   EDC       - EROS Data Center
   EOS       - Earth Observing System
   EOSAT     - Earth Observing Satellite Company
   EOSDIS    - EOS Data and Information System
   EROS      - Earth Resources Observation System
   GAC       - Global Area Coverage
   GCM       - Global Circulation Model
   GMT       - Greenwich Mean Time
   GPS       - Global Positioning System
   GRS80     - Geodetic Reference System of 1980
   GSFC      - Goddard Space Flight Center
   HRPT      - Higher Resolution Picture Transmission
   IFC       - Intensive Field Campaign
   IFOV      - Instantaneous Field of View
   LAC       - Local Area Coverage
   LST       - Local Standard Time
   MSA       - Modeling Sub-Area
   NAD27     - North American Datum 1927
   NAD83     - North American Datum 1983
   NASA      - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
   NeDT      - Noise Equivalent Differential Temperature
   NDVI      - Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
   NOAA      - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
   NRL       - Naval Research Laboratory
   NSA       - Northern Study Area
   OBS       - Old Black Spruce
   ORNL      - Oak Ridge National Laboratory
   PANP      - Prince Albert National Park
   RSS       - Remote Sensing Science
   SSA       - Southern Study Area
   SST       - Sea Surface Temperature
   SVAT      - Surface Vegetation and Atmosphere
   TE        - Terrestrial Ecology
   TF        - Tower Fluxes
   TGB       - Trace Gas Biogeochemistry
   TIROS     - Television and Infrared Observation Satellite
   TM        - Thematic Mapper
   URL       - Uniform Resource Locator
   USGS      - United States Geological Survey
   UTM       - Universal Transverse Mercator
   WGS84     - World Geodetic System of 1984
   WRS       - Worldwide Reference System
   WWW       - World Wide Web
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20. Document Information

20.1 Document Revision Date

Written: 04-Mar-1999
Last Updated: 29-Jan-2001 (citation revised on 30-Oct-2002)

20.2 Document Review Date(s)

BORIS Review: 22-Jul-1999
Science Review:

20.3 Document ID


20.4 Citation

Cite this data set as follows (citation revised on October 30, 2002):

Rapalee, G., F. G. Hall, L. T. Steyaert, and E. R. Levine. 2001. BOREAS Follow-On DSP-09 Moss Cover Classification at Three Area Scales. Data set. Available on-line [http://www.daac.] from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

These data were classified to be included as a part of the BOREAS Follow-on Hydrometerological Modeling Group data set, using AVHRR, Landsat 5 TM, and field and soil survey data from AFM-12, TE-18, and TE-20 science groups. The data sources are: the EROS Data Center (EDC), Sioux Falls SD; the Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS); and aerial photography acquired by Hugo Veldhuis. Any publication of these data should also acknowledge the sources of the moss classification as: Harden et al. (1997); Steyaert et al. (1997); and the TE-18 and AFM-12 science groups. The investigators gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Jill Bubier who helped with moss identification and classification.

20.5 Document Curator:

20.6 Document URL:


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