Collaborating Authors

Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning Model for Mapping Wetlands Yields 94% Accuracy


Annapolis, MD – Chesapeake Conservancy's data science team developed an artificial intelligence deep learning model for mapping wetlands, which resulted in 94% accuracy. Supported by EPRI, an independent, non-profit energy research and development institute; Lincoln Electric System; and the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc., this method for wetland mapping could deliver important outcomes for protecting and conserving wetlands. The results are published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment. The team trained a machine learning (convolutional neural network) model for high-resolution (1m) wetland mapping with freely available data from three areas: Mille Lacs County, Minnesota; Kent County, Delaware; and St. Lawrence County, New York. The full model, which requires local training data provided by state wetlands data and the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), mapped wetlands with 94% accuracy.

Identifying Wetland Areas in Historical Maps using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks Artificial Intelligence

1) The local environment and land usages have changed a lot during the past one hundred years. Historical documents and materials are crucial in understanding and following these changes. Historical documents are, therefore, an important piece in the understanding of the impact and consequences of land usage change. This, in turn, is important in the search of restoration projects that can be conducted to turn and reduce harmful and unsustainable effects originating from changes in the land-usage. 2) This work extracts information on the historical location and geographical distribution of wetlands, from hand-drawn maps. This is achieved by using deep learning (DL), and more specifically a convolutional neural network (CNN). The CNN model is trained on a manually pre-labelled dataset on historical wetlands in the area of J\"onk\"oping county in Sweden. These are all extracted from the historical map called "Generalstabskartan". 3) The presented CNN performs well and achieves a $F_1$-score of 0.886 when evaluated using a 10-fold cross validation over the data. The trained models are additionally used to generate a GIS layer of the presumable historical geographical distribution of wetlands for the area that is depicted in the southern collection in Generalstabskartan, which covers the southern half of Sweden. This GIS layer is released as an open resource and can be freely used. 4) To summarise, the presented results show that CNNs can be a useful tool in the extraction and digitalisation of non-textual information in historical documents, such as historical maps. A modern GIS material that can be used to further understand the past land-usage change is produced within this research.

The remnants of a vast prehistoric sea lie hidden in Nebraska's endangered marshes

National Geographic

Seen through a chain link fence is the Marsh Wren saline wetland just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. The fence separates the newly restored marsh from a housing development. Urban sprawl is the biggest threat to the remaining marshes. Around a hundred million years ago, what is now Nebraska's tranquil prairie was covered by a vast sea, where shark-like marine reptiles roamed. When the sea eventually retreated, it left salty rock formations in its wake, making the groundwater that gurgles from the wetlands around Lincoln, Nebraska, as salty as today's oceans.

Very Deep Convolutional Neural Networks for Complex Land Cover Mapping Using Multispectral Remote Sensing Imagery


Despite recent advances of deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) in various computer vision tasks, their potential for classification of multispectral remote sensing images has not been thoroughly explored. In particular, the applications of deep CNNs using optical remote sensing data have focused on the classification of very high-resolution aerial and satellite data, owing to the similarity of these data to the large datasets in computer vision. Accordingly, this study presents a detailed investigation of state-of-the-art deep learning tools for classification of complex wetland classes using multispectral RapidEye optical imagery. Specifically, we examine the capacity of seven well-known deep convnets, namely DenseNet121, InceptionV3, VGG16, VGG19, Xception, ResNet50, and InceptionResNetV2, for wetland mapping in Canada. In addition, the classification results obtained from deep CNNs are compared with those based on conventional machine learning tools, including Random Forest and Support Vector Machine, to further evaluate the efficiency of the former to classify wetlands. The results illustrate that the full-training of convnets using five spectral bands outperforms the other strategies for all convnets. InceptionResNetV2, ResNet50, and Xception are distinguished as the top three convnets, providing state-of-the-art classification accuracies of 96.17%, 94.81%, and 93.57%, respectively. The classification accuracies obtained using Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) are 74.89% and 76.08%, respectively, considerably inferior relative to CNNs. Importantly, InceptionResNetV2 is consistently found to be superior compared to all other convnets, suggesting the integration of Inception and ResNet modules is an efficient architecture for classifying complex remote sensing scenes such as wetlands.

Rewetting dried wetlands could stop 100 billion tons of CO2 emissions

New Scientist

Restoring dried-out wetlands could avoid emissions equivalent to more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by the end of the century, about a tenth of all expected human-caused emissions over the same period. The amount of greenhouse gases emitted by wetlands depends on the amount of water in them. When wetland soil is covered in water, it emits large amounts of methane. Zhenzhong Zeng at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China and colleagues calculated the precise water level at which wetlands produce the fewest net emissions. The researchers considered 3704 records of water levels and emissions from wetlands around the world, including peat bogs in the UK and Indonesia, swamps in China and floodplains in the south-eastern US.