Researchers at Woods Hole Research Center have been hard at work creating the “National Biomass and Carbon Dataset” for the year 2000 (NBCD2000). This data aims to quantify the carbon stock in U.S. forests in order to assess the carbon flux between forests and the atmosphere.
The dataset was built using a combination of NASA satellite imagery, topographic survey data, land use/land cover information, and forest inventory data collected by the U.S. Forest Service. The project began in 2005, and is funded by NASA’s Earth Science Program and USGS/LANDFIRE.
Within each mapping zone data from the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission are combined with topographic survey data from the National Elevation Dataset (NED) to produce a radar-based map of vegetation canopy height. The map is used to generate estimates of actual vegetation height, biomass, and carbon stock using survey data from the U.S. Forest Service â€“ FIA program and data sets from the National Land Cover Database 2001 (NLCD2001) project.
The survey has identified 67 ecologically diverse regions that have been termed “mapping zones.” The data set for the first nine zones is available for free download at www.whrc.org/nbcd. Additional zones will be added weekly.