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SWATARA WATERSHED ASSOCIATION

Lebanon, PA USA

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APPENDIX B : Anderson Land Cover Classification Description

Level 1: Urban or Built-Up Land is comprised of areas of intensive use with much of the land covered by structures. Included in this category are high-density developed areas such as cities, commercial complexes, industrial areas, compact residential clusters, and strip areas along transportation corridors. Urban or Built- Up Land is further classified into six sub-categories.

Level 2: Residential land uses range from high density multi-unit structures located in urban centers to low density single family homes, where houses are on lots greater than one acre located on the periphery of suburban expansion. Rural residential and recreational subdivisions are also included in this category since this type of land is typically almost entirely committed to residential land use.

Commercial and Service areas include urban central business districts, shopping centers, and com- mercial strips. These areas may also include some noncommercial uses too small to be identified separately. Institutional land uses, such as the various educational, religious, health, correctional, and military facilities are also part of this category.

Industrial areas include light manufacturing facilities designed for assembly, finishing, processing, and packaging, to heavy manufacturing facilities that use raw materials such as iron ore, timber or coal. These heavy-manufacturing facilities can include mills, electrical power plants, tank farms, chemical plants, stockpiles, surface structures associated with the mining industry and heavy duty transportation facilities.

Transportation, Communication, and Utility land uses occur in some degree with all other urban or built-up land use categories. They will be included in each category unless they can be mapped separately from the land use in which they occur. For this reason, the statistical summary of these areas is only a portion of the total. Transportation classification typically includes highways, railways, park- ing lots, rail stations, rail yards, and airport facilities. Communications include, areas used for radio, radar, or television and phone towers. Utilities can include facilities and stations used in the treatment, processing, and transportation of water, oil, gas, and electricity substations.

Mixed Urban or Built Up Land classification is used for a mixture of Level 2 categories where individual uses cannot be separated. This use typically includes development along transportation routes and in cities, towns, and other areas where separate land uses are mixed.

Other Urban or Built Up Land typically consists of uses such as golf courses and driving ranges, urban parks, cemeteries, waste dumps, water control structures, and ski resorts. It also includes land that is considered vacant or undeveloped within urban areas.

Level 1: Agricultural Land may be defined broadly as land used for production of food and fiber. Within the watershed three subgroups of the Level 1 Agricultural Land classification were identified.

Level 2: Cropland and Pasture include crop land harvested, summer-fallow crop land on which failure occurs, cropland in soil improvement grass and legume areas, cropland used in pasture rotation with crops, and pastures on land more or less predominately used for the purpose of animal grazing.

Orchards, Groves, Vineyards, Nurseries, and Ornamental Horticultural Areas include orchards, groves and vineyards that produce fruit and nut crops. Nurseries and horticultural areas include floricultural, seed-and-sod areas, greenhouses, and nurseries, which provide seedlings for planting. Many of these areas may be included in other categories such as cropland and pasture.

Confined Feeding Operations include large scale, specialized live stock production enterprises such as beef cattle feed lots, dairy operations with confined feeding, poultry farms, and hog feed lots.

Level 1: Forest Land is land that contains a tree-crown aerial density (crown closure percentage) of 10 percent or more. These are areas stocked with trees capable of producing timber or other wood products, and exert an influence on the climate or water regime. Within the watershed three different types of Level 2 data were identified for the Forest Land classification.

Level 2: Deciduous Forest Land includes all forested areas having a predominance of trees that lose their leaves at the end of the frost-free season or at the beginning of a dry season. In most areas these include the hardwoods.

Evergreen Forest Land includes all forested areas where the trees are predominately those which remain green throughout the year. Both coniferous and broad-leaved evergreens are included in this category.

Mixed Forest Land includes all forested areas where both evergreen and deciduous trees are growing and neither are predominate. When more than one-third intermixture of either evergreen or deciduous species occurs in a specific area, it is classified as Mixed Forest Land.

Level 1: Water, simply put, this category includes all areas within land mass that are persistently covered with water, provided that, they are at least 1/8 mile wide and if extended cover at least 40 acres.

Level 2: Streams and Canals include rivers, creeks, canals, and other linear bodies of water. When the watercourse in interrupted by a control structure, the impounded area will be placed in the reservoir category.

Lakes are non-flowing, naturally enclosed bodies of water, including regulated natural lakes, but ex- cluding reservoirs. Islands that are too small to be delineated are included in the water area.

Reservoirs are artificial impoundments of water used for irrigation, flood control, municipal water supplies, recreation, hydroelectric power generation, and so forth. Dams, levees, other water-control structures, and the excavation of water-control structures and spillways are included in the Other Urban or Built-up Land category.

Level 1: Wetland, are areas where the water table is at, near, or above the land surface for a significant part of most years. Wetlands are usually associated with topographic lows, even in mountainous regions.

Level 2: Forested Wetlands are wetlands dominated by woody vegetation. They include flooded bottomland hardwoods, shrub swamps, and wooded swamps including those around bogs.

Level 1: Barren Land, is land with a limited ability to support life in which less than one-third of the area has vegetation or other cover. In general, it is an area of thin soil, and or rock. Vegetation, if present, is thin, widespread and scrubby. Within the watershed two sub-classifications of Barren land were present.

Level 2: Strip Mines, Quarries, and Gravel Pits include mining activities that have significant surface cavities. Vegetation cover and overburden are removed to expose such deposits as coal, iron ore, limestone, copper, etc. Quarrying of building and decorative stone and recovery of sand and gravel deposits also result in large open surface pits and are included in this classification. Current mining activity is not always distinguishable, and inactive, unreclaimed, and active strip mines, quarries, borrow pits, and gravel pits are included in this category until other cover or use has been established.

Transitional Areas are categorized as areas in transition from one land use category to another. They are categorized when the data could not be interpreted. Usually these areas include forests that are cleared for agricultural use, wetlands being drained for development or when any type of land use ceases as areas become temporarily bare during construction for future uses.

* Definitions taken from Geological Survey Professional Paper 964, United States Government 1976

 

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