associate professor and member of the
Radiation Laboratory, is
lead investigator at U-M for the important new multidisciplinary project:
“An Inundated Wetlands Earth System Data Record: Global Monitoring of
Wetland Extent and Dynamics.” Led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and
selected as part of NASA's “MeaSURES” program (Making Earth Systems data
records for Use in Research Environments), this five-million dollar,
five-year project will deliver satellite-derived wetland maps, which can be
used to study the Earth's carbon and hydrologic cycles. Such maps, the first
of their kind, will enable unprecedented insight into global environmental
Climate change is projected to have a pronounced effect on global
wetlands through alterations in hydrologic regimes, with some changes
already evident. In turn, climate-driven and anthropogenic changes to
tropical and boreal peatlands have the potential to create significant
feedbacks through the release of large pools of soil carbon and the
resultant effects of methanogenesis.
Despite the importance of these environments in the global cycling of
carbon and water, as well as to current and future climate, the extent and
dynamics of global wetlands remain poorly characterized and modeled. This
absence of information is due primarily to the scarcity of suitable
regional-to-global remote-sensing data, algorithms, and products necessary
for characterizing wetland distribution and dynamics.
Prof. Moghaddam’s group has the primary responsibility for developing the
time-series global boreal wetlands extent and type maps from radar satellite
imagery through the use of state-of-the-art statistical classification
algorithms and quantitative electromagnetic scattering and inversion models.
For several years now, Prof. Moghaddam’s group has been working to produce
precisely such “thematic maps,” constructed using data collected by
space-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR).
“An Inundated Wetlands Earth System Data Record” is a collaborative
effort between several institutions, including JPL, the University of
Michigan, University of California Santa Barbara, Goddard Institute for
Space Sciences, University of Montana, Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and
Canada Center for Remote Sensing.