Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Ostional Catchment in Rivas, Nicaragua between 2009 - 2017

Authors: Shannon Jones*, University of Denver, Michael J Daniels, University of Denver
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Water Resources and Hydrology, Remote Sensing
Keywords: LULC Change, Nicaragua, Remote Sensing, Hydrology, Tropical Dry-Forest
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


In Central America, rapid land use and land cover (LULC) change has led to significant loss of primary forest and mangrove estuaries, depletion of soils, and increased pollution and nutrients in waterways (Carr, Bilborrow, and Barbieri, 2003). However, there is limited knowledge of water resources and a lack of long-term hydrometeorological data in this region. Although RS analysis of tropics is challenging due to the atmospheric conditions, it can provide information of this region to better understand the relationship between human activities and natural processes. Our study of the Ostional catchment in Rivas, Nicaragua will use high-resolution imagery from DigitalGlobe’s constellation of satellites obtained through an imagery grant from the DigitalGlobe Foundation. We quantitatively analyze the imagery to determine past changes of LULC within the catcment to better understand the underlying processes and the spatio-temporal responses to these processes. We use image differencing in TerrSets’ IDRISI Image Processing to compare the LULC change between seven scenes between 2009 and 2017. We use supervised classification of five land use types to compare the spectral changes overtime. Results show that since 2009, tropical dry forest has been cleared primarily for agricultural production, such as maize and livestock. Additionally, there has been increased roadway and infrastructure development and significant geomorphic change along the coast and within the channel. Conversely, few areas have revegetated. This change detection analysis across multiple years enhances our understanding of the impacts of LULC change and how the hydrology of the catchment has responded to these changes.

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