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    Classifying and Mapping Wetlands and Peat Resources Using Digital Cartography

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    Digital cartography allows the portrayal of spatial associations among diverse data types and is ideally suited for land use and resource analysis. We have developed methodology that uses digital cartography for the classification of wetlands and their associated peat resources and applied it to a 1:24 000 scale map area in New Hampshire.

    Classifying and mapping wetlands involves integrating the spatial distribution of wetlands types with depth variations in associated peat quality and character. A hierarchically structured classification that integrates the spatial distribution of variations in (1) vegetation, (2) soil type, (3) hydrology, (4) geologic aspects, and (5) peat characteristics has been developed and can be used to build digital cartographic files for resource and land use analysis. The first three parameters are the bases used by the National Wetlands Inventory to classify wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. The fourth parameter, geological aspects, includes slope, relief, depth of wetland (from surface to underlying rock or substrate), wetland stratigraphy, and the type and structure of solid and unconsolidated rock surrounding and underlying the wetland. The fifth parameter, peat characteristics, includes the subsurface variation in ash, acidity, moisture, heating value (Btu), sulfur content, and other chemical properties as shown in specimens obtained from core holes. These parameters can be shown as a series of map data overlays with tables that can be integrated for resource or land use analysis.


    mapping wetlands, classifying wetlands, mapping peat resources, digital cartography and wetland mapping, digital cartography, peat resource mapping, geographic information systems (GIS)

    Author Information:

    Cameron, CC
    Geologists, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA

    Emery, DA
    Geologists, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA

    Committee/Subcommittee: D18.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP24197S