The principal focus of this project is the mapping and interpretation of landscape scale (i.e., broad scale) ecological metrics among hydrologic units and within 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km regions of coastal land in the Great Lakes Basin (GLB). Much is still unknown about the ecological relationships between human activities, surface water quality, and the biological characteristics with the GLB. This browser is an important step toward understanding the distribution of these phenomena and the analyses of their interrelationships.
The browser is designed to present some key ecological metrics to the GLB public and research communities at a landscape scale and will be updated as additional analyses are completed. For additional information regarding the topic of landscape ecology, visit the following web site: http://www.epa.gov/nerlesd1/land-sci/intro.htm. This is the initial presentation of landscape metrics for the GLB; for current applications of these metrics and results from other related topics in the Great Lakes, visit the following web site: http://www.epa.gov/nerlesd1/land-sci/wetlands.htm.
Because of the vast areas involved in an ecological assessment of the entire Great Lakes Basin used remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques to measure the potential for ecological disturbance in the region. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to assess landscape scale disturbances in the GLB (United States and Canada) uses multispectral satellite data processing, spatial data set merging, and GIS modeling to produce maps of the GLB landscape ecology metrics.
Regions within each of the full hydrologic units, 10-kilometer, 5-kilometer, and 1-kilometer regions of the Great Lakes Basin (shown for either the United States or Canada) are mapped in this browser. Because the relatively narrow coastal regions are indistinguishable at the broad scale, and difficult to portray using a full-Basin map, each of the metrics in this browser (where applicable) are reported by coloring the full hydrologic unit associated with that length of coastal area, per the legend color described for each metric. Use the menus provided in this browser to select the metrics that are of interest to you, and compare the maps by selecting the different tabs and buttons above each map.