NCALM and Critical Zone Observatories Data Available

Dec 21, 2011

OpenTopography is pleased to announce the release of twelve new datasets covering a range of landscapes and geologic features. These data were collected for a variety of scientific applications, and the release of these data is the product of recently signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between OpenTopography and the NSF National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), and the NSF Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs) respectively. These datasets are the first batch of many forthcoming releases of NCALM and CZO lidar data via OpenTopography.

National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping datasets:
NCALM is an NSF-funded center that supports the use of airborne laser mapping technology (a.k.a. lidar) in the scientific community and is jointly operated by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston and the Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California-Berkeley. These ten datasets were all collected under NCALM's graduate student seed proposal program that awards ten projects per year to graduate student PIs who need lidar data for their research. Each collection is typically limited to no more than 40 square kilometers. The datasets released in this batch are seed proposal collections performed in 2009 and 2010.

Critical Zone Observatories datasets:
Under OpenTopography's MOU with the NSF CZOs, we will be hosting all lidar data products collected to support research at the six CZO sites. The CZOs "are environmental laboratories established to study the chemical, physical and biological processes that shape the Earth's surface", and thus lidar is one of several tools being utilized. For this initial CZO data release, we've worked with the Christina River Basin CZO (Pennsylvania and Delaware) to ingest two datasets collected in 2010 - April (leaf-off) and July (leaf-on). The full lidar point cloud as well as pre-computed standard digital elevation model data.