A computer based methodology has been developed for assessing the extent of revegetation on surface mined lands utilizing digital image scanning of color infrared (CIR) aerial photography. Digital images, created from CIR photography of coal strip mines, were classified into three categories: bare soil, water and vegetation. The results of repetitive scans were compared to determine precision. Classification accuracy was established by comparing the results to known ground cover quantified by quadrat and area-metering methods of established accuracy. Results indicate that digital image analysis of CIR aerial photography if a feasible tool for measuring the extent of revegetation on surface mine land. Agreement to within 3\% with ground observations for several mine sites was obtained. This methodology cannot replace all ground survey work for cover verification but it can greatly reduce the degree of subjectivity now inherent in decisions regarding the extent of revegetation on surface mined land.

Date of this Version