JORNEX: A remote sensing campaign to study plant community response to hydrologic fluxes in desert grasslands

TitleJORNEX: A remote sensing campaign to study plant community response to hydrologic fluxes in desert grasslands
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRitchie J., Rango A., Kustas W.P, Schmugge T.J., Havstad K, Everitt J.H., Hipps L.E., Ramalingham K.
Conference NameProceedings of the American Water Resources Association Specialty Conference, Rangeland Management and Water Resources
Date PublishedMay 27-29, 1998
Conference LocationReno, NV
Accession NumberJRN00256
ARIS Log Number091705
Keywordsdesert grasslands, hydrologic fluxes, hydrology, rangeland, remote sensing

The Jornada Experimental Range (Jornada) in southern New Mexico provides a unique opportunity to use remote sensing techniques to study the responses of vegetation to changing hydrologic fluxes and atmospheric driving forces. Research and measurements at the Jornada have been continuous since 1912 by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and USDA Agriculture Research Service. The site was chosen as a National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research site in 1981. These long-term investigations at Jornada have yielded a wealth of ground data about the basin vegetation characteristics, ecosystem dynamics, and vegetation response to changing hydrologic and atmospheric inputs. To complement the programs of ground measurements, a campaign called JORNEX (JORNada EXperiment) began in 1995 to collect remotely sensed data from aircraft and satellite platforms to provide spatial and temporal data on the physical and biological state of the Jornada rangeland. In conjunction with these studies, data were measured on the ground along established transects with detailed vegetation surveys (cover, height, composition, species)and with hand-held and yoke mounted spectral and thermal radiometers; from aircraft with spectral and thermal radiometers, multispectral digital video, and laser altimetry; and from space with Landsat Thematic Mapper, NOAA A VHRR, and GOES satellites. Surface energy balance estimates are made from a combination of parameters and state variables estimated from aircraft and ground data. Surface roughness was evaluated with the laser altimetry data and used to estimate aerodynamic roughness. Fractal analyses of the laser data found differences between vegetation types. These different platforms allow the evaluation of the landscape at different scales. These measurements are being used to quantify the hydrologic budgets and plant response to change in components in the water and energy balance at the Jornada.