Canadian Forest Service Publications

Evaluation of landsat data for forest pest detection and damage appraisal surveys in BC. 1978. Harris, J.W.E.; Dawson, A.F.; Goodenough, D.G. Fisheries and Environment Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forest Research Centre, Victoria, BC. Information Report BC-X-182.

Year: 1978

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 3958

Language: English

Series: Information Report (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


LANDSAT-1 and -2 multispectral scanner data were evaluated for detecting and appraising forest pest damage in the coniferous forests of British Columbia. Many examples of this damage were examined using aerial observations and color aerial photography as ground truth. In a few instances where contrast to surrounding areas was high, heavily defoliated forest stands were visible on color composite images prepared by the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS). These images proved superior to spectral classifications of digital data performed with the CCRS Image Analysis System. It was concluded that pest damage detection from LANDSAT was not sufficiently accurate, in most cases, to be of significant assistance in mapping or assessing forest pest damage. LANDSAT data, however, can provide a compact over-view of forest types for planning of more intensive pest surveys. Future improved resource satellites with higher spatial resolution are likely to be more useful in forest pest management. Until such satellites are available, it is recommended that research and development continue in the use of aircraft microwave, visible and infrared sensors, and in new automated interpretation techniques for detection of pest-damaged areas.