Ten years of land cover change on the California coast detected using Landsat satellite image analysis: Part 2—San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties
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Landsat satellite imagery was analyzed to generate a detailed record of 10 years of vegetation disturbance and regrowth for Pacific coastal areas of San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. The Landsat Ecosystem Disturbance Adaptive Processing System (LEDAPS) methodology, a transformation of Tasseled-Cap data space, was applied to detected changes in perennial coastal shrubland, woodland, and forest cover from 1999 to 2009. Results showed several principal points of interest, within which extensive contiguous areas of similar LEDAPS vegetation change (either disturbed or restored) were detected. Regrowth of evergreen shrub and tree cover was prevalent along the several long stretches of the coast highway (CA Route 1) between the cities of Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. A number of state parks areas showed measurable vegetation restoration as well. The most prominent loss of perennial coastal vegetation over decade was in the Pescadero Marsh area, where the continued presence of levees has historically reduced flood conveyance capacity into and through the marshlands. Based on these examples, the LEDAPS methodology was determined to be capable of fulfilling much of the need for continual, low-cost monitoring of emerging changes to coastal ecosystems.
KeywordsLandsat Coastal vegetation Disturbance Regrowth Restoration
This work was supported by grants from NASA Ames Research. The author thanks Tim Hyland, Environmental Scientist, California State Parks for assistance with image interpretations and historical information on the Ano Nuevo State Reserve area.
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