30 Jun 2021

30 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Landsat-based Irrigation Dataset (LANID): 30-m resolution maps of irrigation distribution, frequency, and change for the U.S., 1997–2017

Yanhua Xie1,2, Holly K. Gibbs1,2,3, and Tyler J. Lark1,2 Yanhua Xie et al.
  • 1Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, 53726, USA
  • 2DOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, 53726, USA
  • 3Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, 53706, USA

Abstract. Data on irrigation patterns and trends at field-level detail across broad extents is vital for assessing and managing limited water resources. Until recently, there has been a scarcity of comprehensive, consistent, and frequent irrigation maps for the U.S. Here we present the new Landsat-based Irrigation Dataset (LANID), which is comprised of 30-m resolution annual irrigation maps covering the conterminous U.S. (CONUS) for the period of 1997–2017. The main dataset identifies the annual extent of irrigated croplands, pastureland, and hay for each year in the study period. Derivative maps include layers on maximum irrigated extent, irrigation frequency and trends, and identification of formerly irrigated areas and intermittently irrigated lands. Temporal analysis reveals that 38.5 million hectares of croplands and pasture/hay have been irrigated, among which the yearly active area ranged from ~22.6 to 24.7 million hectares. The LANID products provide several improvements over other irrigation data including field-level details on irrigation change and frequency, an annual time step, and a collection of ~10,000 visually interpreted ground reference locations for the eastern U.S. where such data has been lacking. Our maps demonstrated overall accuracy above 90 % across all years and regions, including in the more humid and challenging-to-map eastern U.S., marking a significant advancement over other products, whose accuracies ranged from 50 to 80 %. In terms of change detection, our maps yield per-pixel transition accuracy of 81 % and show good agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture reports at both county and state levels. The described annual maps, derivative layers, and ground reference data provide users with unique opportunities to study local to nationwide trends, driving forces, and consequences of irrigation and encourage the further development and assessment of new approaches for improved mapping of irrigation especially in challenging areas like the eastern U.S. The annual LANID maps, derivative products, and ground reference data are available through (Xie et al., 2021).

Yanhua Xie et al.

Status: open (until 25 Aug 2021)

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Yanhua Xie et al.

Data sets

LANID-US: Landsat-based Irrigation Dataset for the United States Yanhua Xie, Tyler Lark

Yanhua Xie et al.


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Short summary
We created 30 m resolution annual irrigation maps covering the conterminous U.S. for the period of 1997–2017, together with derivative products and ground reference data. The products have several improvements over other data, including field-level details of change and frequency, an annual time step, a collection of ~10,000 ground reference locations for the eastern U.S., and improved mapping accuracy of over 90 % especially in the east than others of 50 to 80 %.