Posted on May 7th, 2019

Our Changing Landscape – The 2019 Diamond Valley Lake, CA Super Bloom

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 14 billion square kilometers of data. During April we checked out one of the world’s largest open pit mines, and for the May edition of Our Changing Landscape we come back to the States with a look at a super bloom in southern California around Diamond Valley Lake.

The RapidEye Constellation

Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over the Diamond Lake area in California, USA on February 25, March 16 and March 24, 2019. First off apologies for the cloud cover in the February 25th image however we had limited pre-bloom data to pick from! Either way, in these images which span about a month, you can see significant changes in the landscape as grasses spring to life and flowers bloom. Check out two areas, one just east of the large lake near the center of the image and then by the houses in the southeast, to see the most colorful super blooms captured in this 5-meter RapidEye data! (Images Courtesy: © Planet 2019)

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter (m) medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

The 2019 Diamond Valley Lake, California Super Bloom

Diamond Valley Lake is a human-made reservoir located in southern California approximately 70 miles (~115 kilometers) outside of Los Angeles to the southeast. Filled from 1999 to 2002, Diamond Lake holds up to 260 billion gallons of water, making it the 19th largest reservoir in the state according to this list. To the south of Diamond Lake is 14,000 acres of open space land referred to as the Southwestern Riverside County Multi-Species Reserve (SRCMR). The SRCMR covers at least eight different habitats with a rich community of plant and animal species – 31 of which are sensitive, endangered or threatened.

While persistent, historic droughts plagued California over the past few years, 2019 has been one of the wettest seasons on record, likely due to a powerful El Niño weather pattern that setup over the Pacific Ocean at the start of this year. In fact, 2019 has brought record snow and rainfall amounts to many parts of southern California. And with record precipitation comes colorful spring flowers! ‘Officially’ declared a super bloom, Diamond Valley Lake is apparently awash in the colors of springs as poppies, lupines, sunflowers and more sprung to life this March. With colors spread across the Diamond Valley Lake region, what better target is there for this month’s Our Changing Landscape than southern California’s super bloom?

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at sales@apollomapping.com or (303) 993-3863.

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