Methods for assessing forest cover trends in northeastern Kansas: Multi-date and band Landsat TM image composites
E-mail to Pavri:
- Firooza Pavri, Dept. Geography, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS 66801.
- James Aber and Jet Tilton, Earth Science, Emporia State University, Emporia, KS 66801.
- Juliet Wallace, Dept. Geography, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1 Canada.
Recent studies from the American mid-west suggest that temperate forests, while experiencing significant deforestation in the past, have, more recently, witnessed re-forestation on abandoned farmland, unmonitored pastures and agriculturally unsuitable land - e.g., ridge tops etc. Through satellite image analysis and land use histories, this paper uses the case of Fort Leavenworth military reservation in Leavenworth county of northeastern Kansas to aid in developing appropriate management strategies for forests that have witnessed expansion. It does so by examining subtle changes in forest cover trends in the recent past using a simple, yet powerful, visual interpretation method for multi-temporal, single-band Landsat TM color composites acquired at approximately five year intervals (1987, 1992, 1997). In this paper we compare the value of this technique to more standard, and time consuming, computationally intensive land use classification analyses. In turn, we argue that the visual interpretation method provides ample information for quick trend results particularly when study site familiarity is strong. In addition to satellite images, the paper uses land use data obtained through historical records and key informants to associate evolving land use change to human practices. Our results offer suggestions for forest management strategies that are appropriate to areas experiencing secondary growth and where human intervention is minimal.
Abstract for presentation at Annual Meeting of the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division of the Association of American Geographers, Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 27-29, 2001.
Return to NASA EPSCoR at Emporia State University.
Posted on 17 Oct. 2001.