Remnant Hardwood Forest Mapping within the Upper Mississippi River Floodplain

Open-File Report 2019-1089
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 


Executive Summary

The primary objective of the project was to locate previously unknown stands of mast-producing hardwood forest trees in the Upper Mississippi River floodplain using existing information. We located and mapped 399 previously unknown hardwood forest stands within the Mississippi River floodplain area of navigation pools 9, 10, and 11. Using color infrared images in combination with true-color imagery was useful for identifying hardwood forest stands. We recommend our result be refined by visiting the forest stands we identified to evaluate our classification rate and determine which stands are regenerating. In combination with regeneration information, our results can help better inform flood inundation modeling, which will help improve the efficacy of restoration design. Although we had some success using the best available information, to obtain more relevant observations, we recommend acquiring color infrared aerial imagery during the late fall season if providing detailed mapping of forest stands is a management priority. Imagery of this type collected in the fall, when trees may be distinguished by their differing senescence, has the potential to uniquely identify individual species or perhaps even individual trees. Gaining a better understanding of forest diversity and developing conservation strategies to preserve that diversity is timely because remaining aging trees, established before lock-and-dam installation on the Mississippi River, are nearing the end of their life expectancy.

Suggested Citation

Hanson, J.L., King, R., Hoy, E.E., 2019, Remnant hardwood forest mapping within the Upper Mississippi River floodplain: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1089, 10 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Study Area
  • Methods
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Summary
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Remnant hardwood forest mapping within the Upper Mississippi River floodplain
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1089
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191089
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description Report: vi, 10 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin
Other Geospatial Upper Mississippi floodplain
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details