Aerial extent and distribution of open water

Elk Island National Park

The size of the park lakes and wetlands can be affected by disturbances such as drought, flooding and even beaver dams. Monitoring the extent of open water allows us to measure water levels that affect the vegetation structure, animal habitats and primary productivity. Monitoring these factors allows us to identify irregularities and consider management actions before they have a negative impact on park ecosystems.

Satellite images are observed over the summer and analyzed, and the extent and distribution of open water within the park is calculated. Data collected is compared to historical records and used to identify any significant deviation from past fluctuations in the overall distribution of open water.

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