A Generalized Method to Quantify the Dynamics of a Specific Category to Compare Sites

Authors: Thomas Bilintoh*, Clark University
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Coastal Ecosystems, Marsh, Rate of change, Category, GIS
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 45
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Scientists require methods to clarify temporal differences, especially when comparing sites that vary in terms of spatial extent, temporal extent, and temporal resolution. This article proposes a method that distinguishes categorical differences in a time series, thus facilitating comparisons among sites. I illustrate the method by addressing five concepts: (1) spatial extent, (2) temporal extent, (3) temporal resolution, (4) rate of change, and (5) reversal of change across time intervals. I illustrate the concepts by comparing three sites: Plum Island Ecosystems (PIE), Georgia Coastal Ecosystems (GCE), and Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR). For each site, I analyze maps at three time points where each map shows the same set of land cover categories: water, marsh, and upland. Each site has a distinct spatial extent, temporal extent, and temporal resolution. The method focuses on the dynamics of a single category, in this example, marsh. Results show that the sites in order of overall annual gross change are PIE, GCE, and VCR. Results also show that change decelerates from the first-time interval to the second time interval in all three sites. The method presents results in terms of both maps and stacked bar charts.

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