Beaver Hills Wetland Mapping Project
Edmonton Capital Region, Central Alberta
Beaver Hills Initiative (BHI)
Urban Development and Infrastructure
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing modelling
Accurate, landscape-level inventories have been recognized as critical to wetland management and yet cost-effective and accurate mapping at this scale has proven challenging. Ideally, a method based on remote imaging would produce accurate typing at a resolution suitable for land use planning and similar planning processes. The difficulty lies in finding a cost-effective method that can consistently identify wetlands using remote sensing data, given the range of variation in wetland form. Rugged landscapes with abundant natural vegetation have proven particularly challenging for such approaches, due to varied terrain and similar vegetation coloration. Using LiDAR, SPOT imagery and advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing modelling approaches, we successfully mapped wetlands within the Beaver Hills Moraine, a distinctive 1,595 km2 landscape of rolling hills and abundant wetlands and forests to the east of Edmonton, to Alberta’s ‘fine-scale’ resolution standard (minimum mapped units of 0.02 ha). High resolution, accurate wetland mapping was central to our client, the Beaver Hills Initiative, for a larger project (the Land Management Framework, or LMF). The LMF used GIS analysis to identify environmental sensitivities relevant to land use planning, including surface and groundwater contamination risk. More accurate, high resolution wetland mapping also allowed us to improve agricultural soil suitability mapping for the area, and to predict environmentally suitable land use zones, at a scale suitable for municipal planning. The innovative GIS analysis and remote sensing techniques designed for this project add to a suite of landscape-level resource inventory tools being developed by Solstice, for application to a variety of industries and geographic locations.
- GIS datasets with high resolution mapping of wetlands, land cover, and hydrology
- GIS models demonstrating environmental risk and development constraints
- A predictive GIS model identifying sustainable land use alternatives, given environmental considerations
- Beaverhills Land Management Website
Technical Services Group Manager
Solstice Canada Corp.