Characterization of Decadal Urban Land Cover Variations from National Land Cover Product

Authors: George Xian*, USGS EROS Data Center
Topics: Remote Sensing, Urban Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Land Cover, Urban, NLCD, Imperviousness, ARD
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban areas have been recognized as important parts of the landscape, providing necessary social and economic functions for human habitation. Urban land-cover and land-cover change also play vital roles in ecosystem performance, hydrology, and surface energy balance. The USGS has conducted several national projects including National Land Cover Database (NLCD) to characterize land-cover and land-use change across the nation. NLCD has been developed to provide consistent land-cover products, which includes percent impervious surface, every five years for the nation since 2001. Landsat images are primary data used in NLCD impervious surface quantification. The impervious surface products are used to define urban land-cover into four categories for the NLCD land-cover product. However, challenges still exist for impervious surface mapping across large geographic scales. One of the major challenges in characterizing and monitoring urban land-cover and change using remote sensing data is attributable to the heterogeneity and dynamics of the urban land-cover, which leads to uncertainties in characterizing their types, delineating their spatial extents, detecting change trends, and quantifying their biophysical conditions. This study assessed national urban variations between 2001 and 2011 using urban land-cover data from NLCD. The time series Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) and change products developed by the USGS EROS Center were also used to characterize changes associated with urban land. Spatial patterns and temporal trends of urban areas were analyzed and uncertainties of using ARD data were further explored.

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