In 2014, the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) initiated a Play-Based Regulation (PBR) pilot project as a step towards implementation of the Unconventional Regulatory Framework. One of the goals of the PBR pilot is to encourage companies in the unconventional play area to work together on plans for surface development to minimize the numbers of facilities and surface impacts. This dataset is one of a series created using earth observation imagery to assess surface change caused by energy exploration.
The PBR area extends from Twp. 52, Rge. 7, W 5th Mer. to Twp. 70, Rge. 5, W 6th Mer., covering the towns of Edson, Fox Creek, Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt, Swan Hills, and Valleyview.
Landsat multispectral imagery for 2012 and 2013 and land use and land cover classification data derived from 2013 were used to produce this dataset. The land use and land cover changes include vegetation loss from anthropogenic disturbances, such as infrastructure related to oil and gas exploration, forestry and agriculture, and vegetation recovery from these disturbances.
This digital data release contains the vegetation loss data, classified into 9 classes: 1 - exposed land/cut blocks/harvested areas, 3 - transitional bare surfaces, 4 - mixed developed areas, 5 - developed areas, 6 - shoal, 7 - shrub land, 8 - grassland and 9 - agricultural areas. These categories can be used as baseline data for planning, managing and monitoring surface infrastructure needs and impacts.