Change vector analysis to categorise land cover change processes using the tasselled cap as biophysical indicator
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The continuous extraction of wood and the conversion of forest to small- and large-scale agricultural parcels is rapidly changing the land cover of the mount Cameroon region. The changes occur at varying spatial scales most often not more than 2ha for the small-scale subsistence farms and above 10ha for the extensive agricultural plantations of cocoa and palm. Given the importance of land use and land cover data in conservation planning, accurate and efficient techniques to provide up-to-date change information are required. A number of techniques for realising the detection of land cover dynamics using remotely sensed imagery have been formulated, tested and assessed with the results varying with respect to the change scenario under investigation, the information required and the imagery applied. In this study the Change Vector Analysis (CVA) technique was implemented on multitemporal multispectral Landsat data from the Thematic Mapper (TM) and Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM) sensors to monitor the dynamics of forest change in the mount Cameroon region. CVA was applied to multi-temporal data to compare the differences in the time-trajectory of the tasseled cap greenness and brightness for two successive time periods – 1987 and 2002. The tasseled cap was selected as biophysical indicator because it optimises the data viewing capabilities of vegetation, representing the basic types of land cover – vegetation, soil and water. Classes were created arbitrarily to predict the technique‘s potential in monitoring forest cover changes in the mount Cameroon region. The efficiency of the technique could not be fully assessed due to the inavailability of sufficient ground truth data. Assessment was based on the establishment of an error matrix of change versus no-change. The overall accuracy was 70%. The technique nevertheless demonstrated immense potentials in monitoring forest cover change dynamics especially when complemented with field studies.
KeywordsChange vector analysis Tassled cap Mount Cameroon Forest cover change Deforestation Agriculture extension Wood extraction
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