Human use of the land has a large effect on the structure of terrestrial ecosystems and the dynamics of biogeochemical cycles. For this reason, terrestrial ecosystem and biogeochemistry models require moderate resolution (e.g., ≤0.5°) information on land use in order to make realistic predictions. Few such data sets currently exist. To create a land use data set of sufficient resolution, we developed models relating land cover data derived from optical remote sensing and a census database on land use for the conterminous United States. The land cover product used was from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme DISCover global product, derived from 1 km advanced very high resolution radiometer imagery, with 16 land cover classes. Land use data at state-level resolution came from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Major Land Uses database, aggregated into four general land use categories: Cropland, Pasture/Range, Forest, and Other. We developed and applied models relating these data sets to generate maps of land use in 1992 for the conterminous United States at 0.5° spatial resolution.


Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center

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Global Biogeochemical Cycles



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Copyright 2001 by the American Geophysical Union.