Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Landsat Analysis

Author(s): Feng Y; Chambers J; Negron-Juarez R; Patricola C; Clinton N; Uriarte M; Hall J; Collins W


Dataset Information

Site ID: PR-EVR; PR-EVV; PR-Ica; PR-Sab

Site Name: El Verde Ridge; El Verde Valley; Icacos; Sabana

Variables: Remote sensing

Date Range: Aug. 1, 2016 - Nov. 30, 2017

Description: Hurricane Maria made landfall as a strong Category 4 storm in southeast Puerto Rico on September 20th, 2018. The powerful storm traversed the island in a northwesterly direction causing widespread destruction. This study focused on a rapid assessment of Hurricane Maria’s impact to Puerto Rico’s forests. Calibrated and corrected Landsat 8 image composites for the entire island were generated using Google Earth Engine for a comparable pre-Maria and post-Maria time period that accounted for phenology. Spectral mixture analysis (SMA) using image-derived endmembers was carried out on both composites to calculate the change in the non-photosynthetic vegetation (ΔNPV) spectral response, a metric that quantifies the increased fraction of exposed wood and surface litter associated with tree mortality and crown damage from the storm. Hurricane simulations were also conducted using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model to estimate wind speeds associated with forest disturbance. Dramatic changes in forest structure across the entire island were evident from pre- and post-Maria composited Landsat 8 images. A ΔNPV map for only the forested pixels illustrated significant spatial variability in disturbance, with patterns that associated with factors such as slope, aspect and elevation. An initial order-of-magnitude impact estimate based on previous work indicated that Hurricane Maria may have caused mortality and severe damage to 23-31 million trees. Additional field work and image analyses are required to further detail the impact of Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico forests. A minor update to this dataset was posted on April 20, 2018. The previous version is being retired. If you need access to the prior version of the data, email ngee-tropics-archive@lbl.gov.

QA/QC: Full QA-QC

QA/QC Method: None

Access Level: Public

Originating Institution(s): UC Berkeley, LBNL

Sponsor Organization(s): Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Contact: Chambers, Jeff - LBNL (jchambers@lbl.gov)


Data Download

Version: 1.0

Dataset Citation: Feng Y; Chambers J; Negron-Juarez R; Patricola C; Clinton N; Uriarte M; Hall J; Collins W (2018): Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Landsat Analysis. 1.0. NGEE Tropics Data Collection. (dataset). http://dx.doi.org/10.15486/ngt/1419953

Acknowledgement: This research was supported as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research

Data Link: Download Dataset

NGEE Tropics data policy.


Reference:

Feng Y; Chambers J; Negron-Juarez R; Patricola C; Clinton N; Uriarte M; Hall J; Collins W (2018): Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Landsat Analysis. 1.0. NGEE Tropics Data Collection. (dataset). http://dx.doi.org/10.15486/ngt/1419953