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LBA-ECO LC-07 Wetland Extent, Vegetation, and Inundation: Lowland Amazon Basin

This data set provides a map of wetland extent, vegetation type, and dual-season flooding state of the entire lowland Amazon basin. The map was derived from mosaics of Japanese Earth Resources Satellite (JERS-1) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery for the period October-November 1995 and May-July 1996. The images are from the original JERS-1 SAR Global Rain Forest Mapping Project (GRFM) (Rosenqvist et al., 2000). Hess et al. (2003; 2012) mapped and validated wetland extent, vegetative cover, and flooding state for an 18 degree X 8 degree portion of the central Amazon using dual-season GRFM mosaics. This study extends the previous wetlands mapping to report the first validated estimate of wetland extent, cover, and flooding for the lowland Amazon basin. A wetlands mask was created by segmentation of the mosaics and clustering of the resulting polygons; a rules set was then applied to classify wetland areas into five land cover classes and two flooding classes using dual-season backscattering values. The mapped wetland area of 8.4 X 105 km2 is equivalent to 14% of the total basin area (5.83 X 106 km2) and 17% of the lowland basin (5.06 X 106 km2). The mapped flooding extent is representative of average high- and low-flood conditions for latitudes north of 6 degrees S; flooding conditions were less well captured for the southern part of the basin.

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