Four scenarios of land-cover change in the Dallas, Texas area from 2006 to 2100.
Land-use and land-cover (LULC) change has altered a large part of the Earth's land surface. Analyzing LULC change is important because surface changes affect a wide variety of ecological processes. A thorough understanding of past, present, and future LULC change is necessary in order to better manage potential effects of LULC change on biodiversity, hydrology, carbon fluxes, climate change, and many othe recological processes.
USGS scientists have a long tradition of providing high-quality, consistent, and relevant LULC data for the United States, based on our archive of current and historical remote sensing data. Scientists at USGS EROS are using their experience in mapping LULC and their knowledge of LULC change processes to temporally extend these databases beyond the dates of available remote sensing data. Using the USGS EROS' FOREcasting SCEnarios of land-cover (FORE-SCE) model, USGS scientists are modeling LULC change into the future, using scenario-based modeling approaches, and for the past, using a "backcasting" modeling approach. By both forecasting and backcasting LULC, we are producing consistent, annual LULC maps for the conterminous United States from 1938 through 2100, with multiple scenarios of potential LULC for future periods.