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Techniques for Producing Coastal Land Water Masks from Landsat and Other Multispectral Satellite DataCoastal erosion and land loss continue to threaten many areas in the United States. Landsat data has been used to monitor regional coastal change since the 1970s. Many techniques can be used to produce coastal land water masks, including image classification and density slicing of individual bands or of band ratios. Band ratios used in land water detection include several variations of the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). This poster discusses a study that compares land water masks computed from unsupervised Landsat image classification with masks from density-sliced band ratios and from the Landsat TM band 5. The greater New Orleans area is employed in this study, due to its abundance of coastal habitats and its vulnerability to coastal land loss. Image classification produced the best results based on visual comparison to higher resolution satellite and aerial image displays. However, density sliced NDWI imagery from either near infrared (NIR) and blue bands or from NIR and green bands also produced more effective land water masks than imagery from the density-sliced Landsat TM band 5. NDWI based on NIR and green bands is noteworthy because it allows land water masks to be generated from multispectral satellite sensors without a blue band (e.g., ASTER and Landsat MSS). NDWI techniques also have potential for producing land water masks from coarser scaled satellite data, such as MODIS.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Spruce, Joseph P.
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Bay Saint Louis, MS, United States)
Hall, Callie
(NASA Stennis Space Center Stennis Space Center, MS, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
June 2, 2005
Subject Category
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Twenty-Fifth Annual ESRI International User Conference
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 25, 2005
End Date: July 29, 2005
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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