Canadian Forest Service Publications

Terrain analysis from landsat imagery. 1976. Oswald, E.T. The Forestry Chronicle 52(6): 274-282.

Year: 1976

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 1722

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


An evaluation of the use of unenhanced Landsat-1 imagery for depicting features of the earth's surface, which is important to resource management, was conducted in central British Columbia. Sampling was conducted, using as many as six scales of photography, along with ground observations. Some features, such as water bodies, rivers, drainage systems, mountains, snow fields and contrasting vegetation types, can be readily distinguished. Other features, such as major powerlines, roads and railroads, can often be seen, especially when they pass through forested areas, but may be confused on some land types. Within the forested areas, tonal differences reveal broad age- and density-classes. Lodgepole pine was the only species that could be distinguished with any degree of reliability, and only when it occurred in large pure stands. Landsat imagery is most useful in monitoring dynamic events, such as forest harvesting, alterations in Lake levels, snow distribution and some erosion patterns.