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Monitoring land-use change in the Pearl River Delta using Landsat TM

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The Pearl River Delta in the People's Republic of China is experiencing rapid rates of economic growth. Government directives in the late 1970s and early 1980s spurred economic development that has led to widespread land conversion. In this study, we monitor land-use through a nested hierarchy of land-cover. Change vectors of Tasseled Cap brightness, greenness and wetness of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images are combined with the brightness, greenness, wetness values from the initial date of imagery to map four stable classes and five changes classes. Most of the land-use change is conversion from agricultural land to urban areas. Results indicate that urban areas have increased by more than 300% between 1988 and 1996. Field assessments confirm a high overall accuracy of the land-use change map (93.5%) and support the use of change vectors and multidate Landsat TM imagery to monitor land-use change. Results confirm the importance of field-based accuracy assessment to identify problems in a land-use map and to improve area estimates for each class.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 20, 2002

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