NE Disturbance Data Development Project

The Province of BC identified restoration of linear features and other disturbances as a high priority to reduce the density of linear features and total disturbance on the landscape. Habitat restoration techniques have been refined through a number of recent projects, but previous disturbance mapping projects have been limited in scope geographically, and generally lack the fine scale detail regarding disturbance type and condition. This leads to a high degree of uncertainty when planning ecosystem restoration projects at all scales. The project will develop high-quality linear and polygonal disturbance data for the Northeast Region. This data will be used to develop subsequent regional ecosystem restoration programming.
 
Provincial staff currently have a workflow for the time series analysis of detected disturbance polygons. Two approaches, one based on 10 metre resolution Sentinel-2 imagery and another based on higher resolution SPOT 6/7 and/or PlanetScope imagery are used. For both workflows, we first use object-based image analysis of the recent imagery to segment the image into objects, then we extract spectral values from mosaics created using lower resolution Landsat Archive.
 
This approach has the benefit of being able to detect finer disturbance features on the landscape (e.g. seismic lines) and analyse their disturbance history using coarse data. Validation techniques evaluate the accuracy of this process. From the Landsat time series extracted for each polygon, we characterize pre-disturbance conditions, identify the timing and characteristics of the disturbance, and investigate the regrowth/regeneration of the disturbance over time, similar to previous work in the academic literature.