Policy-makers and scientists often require comprehensive data on the types and rates of land use and land cover change at a variety of scales. However, there is generally a lack of local, regional, and national land use and land cover data of sufficient reliability and temporal and geographic detail for providing accurate estimates of landscape change. The U.S. Geological Survey's EROS Data Center and the Landscape Ecology Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are collaborating on a four-year research project to document the types, distributions, rates, drivers, and consequences of land cover change for the conterminous United States over the past 30 years. The project is using an ecoregion framework as a geographic stratifier. Both regional and national characteristics of change are determined by sampling land cover change for each of 84 ecoregions using five selected epochs of data from the nearly 30-year record of Landsat 1-7 data. Three types of land cover variables are being mapped or derived: (1) general land cover type; (2) landscape biophysical properties; and (3) landscape pattern. Assessments of the drivers and consequences of change within each ecoregion are then prepared. A pilot phase focusing on the analysis of five selected ecoregions is well underway and will be completed by the end of 2000. Methodologies established during the pilot phase will then be applied to the remaining ecoregions.
|Title||The land cover trends project: A strategy for monitoring land cover change at a national scale|
|Authors||Terry L. Sohl, Thomas Loveland, Kristi Sayler, Alisa L. Gallant, Roger F. Auch, Darrell E. Napton|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center|