Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Timothy A. Warner.

Committee Co-Chair

Julie A. Concannon

Committee Member

Thomas DeMeo

Committee Member

Gregory Elmes


This thesis is a study of field data and remotely sensed data to evaluate the structural diversity, texture, spectral and spatial differences between forest stands of three age classes (50--69, 70--89, and >90 years) in the Cheat District on the Monongahela National Forest. The structural diversity was determined with foliage-height profiles for 48 stands ranging from 52 to 148 years old. Structural diversity was highest in the 70--89 and >90 year old stands and lowest in the 50--69 year old stands. The structural characteristics of the 70--89 and >90 year old stands were characterized by greater numbers of larger trees, snags, log accumulations, and canopy gaps, compared to 50--69 year old stands. The 70--89 stands were more similar in structural characteristics to the stands >90 years old than to the 50--69 year stands.;Texture analysis, single band, and color-ratio techniques applied to SPOT Panchromatic and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) satellite data resulted in limited success. Wetness, a TM Tasseled Cap transformation, was the spectral variable most correlated with stand age. Although TM texture was found to be related to differences in stand age, TM data is too coarse to detect the spatial variability within the forest canopy reliably. Regression models used to estimate the stand age from DN values of the satellite data were least successful for the SPOT Panchromatic data, possibly due to the late fall season of the data collection.