Related Research Areas
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems

The proposed activity addresses key issues regarding the appropriate use of ICESat II lidar data for critical carbon cycle and ecosystem measurements. The proposers recognize that ICESat II is primarily a cryospheric science mission and seek to effectively use the ICESat data to augment lidar capabilities to be flown on other missions. However, the National Academies' Decadal Survey for Earth Sciences explicitly mentions the role of ICESat II for carbon cycle and ecosystems science. This project will examine issues of footprint size, off-nadir pointing, footprint sampling density, pulse repetition rate, benefits of cross track sampling and crossovers for change detection. The project will focus on temperate and high latitude forested ecosystems where the authors have a wealth of experience and knowledge. The purpose of the proposed project is to quantify temperate and boreal forest carbon stocks and dynamics disturbances using the 3rd dimension data provided by Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS). This proposal is aimed at using the GLAS lidar profiles to measure forest structure parameters that can be converted to biomass or carbon and quantify structure changes from forest fires, insect outbreaks, and logging. Expected results from this project include: 1) understanding of instrument and mission parameters that will enable productive use of the ICESat mission without significantly impact existing design; 2) improvements on existing techniques for using GLAS data for forest studies; 3) basic understanding of the interaction of lidar energy and forest canopies. The results of this proposal will be applicable to answering several important questions posed by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise including: How are global ecosystems changing What are the consequences of land cover and land use change?, How is the Earth's surface being transformed and how can such information be used to predict future changes?

Project PI: Ross Nelson/NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

Horticulture/Forest Science Building, Room 305 , 2138 TAMU,College Station, TX 77843-2138

Phone: (301) 614-6632



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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010


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