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LAND USE / LAND COVER CHANGE Exercise 9: Land Use/Land Cover Change (LULCC) REQUIRED MATERIAL 1. Your text book. 2. Digital images - provided in the computer laboratory. 3. Workstation running PCI Geomatica V10.0 Image Processing software - provided in computer lab. REQUIRED READING 1. This exercise—be familiar with all terms in bold . INTRODUCTION Land use and land cover changes can have enormous impact on ecosystems, resources, and climate on local and global scales. In this exercise you will be exploring various types of land use and land cover changes that have taken place in specific areas. You will be viewing several satellite images of the major types of land use change including deforestation, agricultural land loss, and urban sprawl. You will be analyzing these examples in order to understand some of the causes, consequences, and tradeoffs associated with land use/land cover change. The images will be viewed and manipulated using image processing software. LULCC Land use/land cover change, often abbreviated LULCC, is a research field in Geography that is growing increasingly important. It is an interdisciplinary study focusing on both physical and social sciences. Though often times the terms land use and land cover are seemingly used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two. Land cover refers to the actual physical attributes covering the landscape. For example, grassland, forest, wetlands, and concrete or impervious surfaces are examples of land cover, and each is easily observable. Land use is the value of that land or the use to which it is put by people. Some examples include agricultural land, urban areas, and protected habitats. Land use is more difficult to determine since it is sometimes less obvious than land cover. For example recreational grassed areas and some pastures can be very similar in satellite images. 1
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LAND USE / LAND COVER CHANGE Examples of Land Use Change Most land use/land cover change studies depend on remote sensing data and image processing techniques. Image processing allows for land cover types to be readily extracted from satellite images and can facilitate detection of LULCC. Images are used to detect two main types of change, expansion and intensification. Expansion is an increase in total area of a land cover resulting in the loss of another, and intensification is an increase in the use of a particular cover type without an increase in its extent. For example, in a study of Southeast Asia using Landsat imagery, it was discovered that rates of deforestation had increased during the 1980’s and that the loss of forested area was due to the expansion of agricultural land. In Mexico, agricultural intensification was observed through increases in wheat yields and expansion of irrigation in existing agricultural areas. Urban areas are also commonly monitored for changes in area and intensity of use. The Mid-Atlantic RESAC (Regional Earth Science Application Center) here at the University of Maryland
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2009 for the course GEOG 201 taught by Professor Prince during the Spring '07 term at Maryland.

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