ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

GIS, LiDAR & Geophysics

All of the data collected at the CZOs is geospatially located for the purposes of applying GIS analysis of diverse disciplinary data sets.

Cross-CZO remote sensing activities have thus far focused on the acquisition of leaf-on and leaf-off LiDAR data, and a series of pre-AGU workshops have been convened to help train students and develop the expertise to analyze this data and place it within a cross-CZO context.

Geophysical surveying has been applied to some extent at each CZO - a strategy for coordinated surveys has recently been discussed with the new NSF-funded Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics, and a CZO geophysics and drilling workshop was held prior to the 125th meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver during October 2013.


LiDAR Data acquisition, ground-truthing, vegetation surveys and processing were funded through NSF Award EAR-0922307 and coordinated by PI Dr. Qinghua Guo (UC Merced) for Boulder Creek, Southern Sierra and Susquehanna Shale Hills CZOs. Data acquisition and processing was also provided for areas within the Christina River Basin and the Catalina-Jemez and Luquillo CZOs. This data was collected in collaboration with the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM).

The results of this data collection for these six areas can be found at the following link:

Data acquisition for the Calhoun and Eel River CZO were supported by NSF awards through NCALM. LiDAR data for Reynolds Creek CZO was acquired by Watershed Sciences, Inc. Find out more about each CZO’s LiDAR data below.

Boulder Creek CZO

High-resolution Orthoimagery and snow-off and snow-on LiDAR suveys taken in 2010 are available for the BcCZO area.

Calhoun CZO

A leaf-on LiDAR survey in the summer of 2014 was flown by NCALM with hyperspectral instrumentation to observe aboveground vegetation. The data includes LiDAR features for 35 forest plots located within the CZO.

Catalina-Jemez CZO

Three LiDAR surveys were completed for the Jemez River Basin in both winter and summer of 2010 and in the spring of 2012, covering the 2011 Las Conchas fire. In the Catalina Mountains, one survey of the Marshall Gulch catchment, sponsored by Pima County, is available from 2007.

Christina River Basin

High-resolution LiDAR data were obtained by NCALM for 121 km2 of the Christina River Basin during both leaf-off in April 2010 and leaf-on in July 2010.

Eel River CZO

Eel River has 2 flights available from National Center for Airborn Laser Mapping (NCALM). A 2004 dataset covers the headwaters of the South Fork Eel River down to the confluence of Tenmile Creek. This area covers the Angelo Reserve. Also, a 2009 dataset is a narrow swath running down the mainstem of the South Fork Eel River to the confluence of the South Fork with Middle Fork.

Luquillo CZO

High-resolution Lidar data were obtained by NCALM for 253 km2 of the Luquillo CZO in the Rio Mameyes, Rio Blanco watersheds and coastal zones, Puerto Rico. Data for this survery area was collected in July 2010 and May 2011

Reynolds Creek CZO

Two LiDAR collections are available, including a snow-off flight collected in November, 2007 covering the entire Reynolds Creek watershed and snow-on flight collected over the southern portion of the watershed in March, 2009.

Susquehanna Shale Hills CZO

The Shale Hills CZO and the larger Shaver Creek watershed has had 3 airborne lidar flights to date. Data was collected in July of 2010 (leaf-on) and December of 2010 (leaf-off). Terrestrial laser mapping (TLM) of the SSHO was conducted in March, 2010 to provide centimeter scale spatial data of the watershed.

Southern Sierra CZO 

Airborne LiDAR was recently flown for the broader Southern Sierra CZO installations, including Providence, Bull, Teakettle, Tokopah, and Wolverton catchments, the San Joaquin Experimental Range (SJER), and the Soaproot Saddle and Short Hair Creek flux tower sites.

LiDAR Acquisition Initiative  

Associated Files

(4 MB pdf)
LiDAR exercise for high school classrooms