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Wetlands - Global Monitoring of Wetland Extent and Dynamics Globe

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Alaska Wetlands Map from Satellite L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar

Download Geotiff image (20 Mbytes, gzipped)

Zoomify - Alaska Wetlands Map

0 = inland water



1-5 = estuarine emergent




6-10 = estuarine scrub/shrub





11-15 = estuarine forested





16-20 = riverine emergent





21-25 = lacustrine emergent





26-30 = palustrine moss/lichen





31-35 = palustrine emergent





36 -40 = palustrine scrub/shrub




 41-45 = palustrine forested



 46 = deciduous forested

 47 = barren

 48 = uplands

 49= ocean water



                    50= no data



The groups of five for each wetlands class include five different water regimes:

1 = permanently or semi-permanently flooded

2 = regularly exposed

3 = seasonally flooded

4 = intermittently or temporarily flooded

5 = saturated

(so, e.g., 33 is palustrine emergent with a seasonally flooded water regime)

Citation: Whitcomb, J., M. Moghaddam, K. McDonald,J. Kellndorfer, and E. Podest, "Mapping wetlands of Alaska from L-band SAR imagery," C. J. Remote Sensing, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 54-72, February 2009. (Chosen as Best Published Paper in CJRS for the year 2009)


The above figure shows a map of wetlands in Alaska derived from L-band radar imagery acquired by JAXA's JERS-1 SAR. A novel approach was applied to map the wetlands across the broad Alaska landscape utilizing the radar data and ground measurements to develop the classification scheme and to validate the derived wetlands map. This map is the first Alaska-wide map of wetlands developed form a single contiguous data source. The regional high-resolution mapping capability provided by the radar is key to the successful derivation of this large-scale product. This 100-meter resolution Alaska wetlands map provides key information needed for regional- to continental-scale studies focusing on biogeochemistry, hydrology, plant and animal biodiversity, water resource management, and long-term sustainability of wetland ecosystems in Alaska.
Several classes of herbaceous and woody vegetation were successfully classified, with better than 90% classification accuracy relative to the training and validation data sources employed.

For more information, please email Mahta Moghaddam at mmoghadd (at)

This research is undertaken within the framework of the ALOS Kyoto & Carbon Initiative. The ALOS data were provided by JAXA EORC.

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