Short Name:

Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics

The Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) project was established to provide multi-resolution land cover data of the conterminous United States from local to regional scales. A major component of MRLC is an objective to develop a national 30-meter land cover characteristics data base using Landsat thematic mapper (TM) data. This is a cooperative effort among six programs within four U.S. Government agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program; the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Program; the National Biological Service's Gap Analysis Program; the USGS' Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Center; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Change Analysis Program; and the EPA's North American Landscape Characterization project. Multitemporal scenes were selected for the eastern deciduous forests, agricultural regions, and selected other regions. Multitemporal pairs were selected to be in consecutive seasons (in 1992 when possible). All scenes were previewed for image quality. The participating agencies organized the joint purchase of a single national set of Landsat TM scenes. In addition, the cooperators developed a common definition for preprocessing the satellite data. The shared, consistently processed TM data are the foundation for the development of the national 30-meter land cover data base. The jointly acquired data are archived and distributed by EROS. A variety of products are available to MRLC participants, to their affiliated users, and to the general public. Multi-Resolution Land Characterization 2001 (MRLC 2001) At-Sensor Reflectance Dataset is a second-generation federal consortium to create an updated pool of nation-wide Landsat imagery, and derive a second-generation National Land Cover Database (NLCD 2001). The MRLC 2001 data cover the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. Multi-temporal scenes may also be available, depending on the location. Most of the images are of high quality, and cloud cover is generally less than ten percent. The data will also include a 30-meter Digital Elevation Model (DEM) for all scenes that do not include the Canadian or Mexican borders.

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