Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



U. S. Environmental Protection Agency


At the request of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nevada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory at Las Vegas collected multispectral scanner imagery of Las Vegas Wash on October 1, 1982.

A combined maximum likelihood classification and editing procedure was used to classify the multispectral scanner imagery into 12 categories of land cover. The classification identified four categories of marsh vegetation, one category of riparian, two categories of mixed scrub, and two desert categories. Turbid water and cultivated land formed an "other" category. Area tabulations were formed by georeferencing the classification to the Universal Transverse Mercator System at a resolution of 3 meters.

A regression-based procedure was used to transform the multispectral data into categories of temperature, Secchi depth, total dissolved solids, and specific conductance for those areas in which standing water was observed.

The resulting digital maps provide baseline data for the Las Vegas Wash System. Future mapping may be compared to these maps, using digital overlay techniques, to provide quantitative environmental monitoring of this desert wetland.


Effluent quality; Environmental quality; Freshwater plants; Lake Mead (Ariz. and Nev.); Las Vegas Wash (Nev.); Limnology; Marshes; Multispectral survey; Solid waste management; Waste water reclamation; Water quality; Wetlands


Desert Ecology | Environmental Chemistry | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Environmental Monitoring | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Sustainability | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology