Land Use and Land Cover of Southern U.S.

An important aspect governing the movement of water and chemicals in soil is land use. Characterization of the landuse of the conterminous United States was determined by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), EROS Data Center (EDC), and the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies at the University of Nebraska in 1990. This spatial data set of vegetation cover was considered a prototype at a 1-km resolution and developed for global environmental research. Generation of the data set was from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite images with post-classification refinement based on other digital earth science data sets, including topography, climate, soils, and ecoregions.

The AVHRR data were reclassed into 12 different categories by grouping similar categories of land use and land cover. There were four initial categories of Agricultural (primarily cropland), Forest, Range, and Barren with eight additional categories. The other eight categories were various permutations or combinations of the initial categories. For example, water and Marshes were combined into a single category. Urban areas were not represented on the AVHRR data so this category was not interpreted. These data were set to a 1 kilometer resolution matching that of the AVHRR data.