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Monitoring land cover changes in Isfahan Province, Iran using Landsat satellite data

Soffianian, Alireza, Madanian, Maliheh
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2015 v.187 no.8 pp. 543
Landsat, agricultural land, environmental impact, humans, industrialization, land cover, land use, monitoring, population growth, remote sensing, surfaces, traffic, Iran
Changes in land cover and land use reveal the effects of natural and human processes on the Earth’s surface. These changes are predicted to exert the greatest environmental impacts in the upcoming decades. The purpose of the present study was to monitor land cover changes using Multispectral Scanner Sensor (MSS) and multitemporal Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data from the counties of Isfahan Province, Iran, during 1975, 1990, and 2010. The maximum likelihood supervised classification method was applied to map land cover. Postclassification change detection technique was also used to produce change images through cross-tabulation. Classification results were improved using ancillary data, visual interpretation, and local knowledge about the area. The overall accuracy of land cover change maps ranged from 88 to 90.6 %. Kappa coefficients associated with the classification were 0.81 for 1975, 0.84 for 1990, and 0.85 for 2010 images. This study monitored changes related to conversion of agricultural land to impervious surfaces, undeveloped land to agricultural land, agricultural land to impervious surfaces, and undeveloped land to impervious surfaces. The analyses of land cover changes during the study period revealed the significant development of impervious surfaces in counties of Isfahan Province as a result of population growth, traffic conditions, and industrialization. The image classification indicated that agricultural lands increased from 2520.96 km² in 1975 to 4103.85 km² in 2010. These land cover changes were evaluated in different counties of Isfahan Province.