Forest Cover Dynamics During Massive Ownership Changes – Annual Disturbance Mapping Using Annual Landsat Time-Series
Remote sensing is a core tool for forest monitoring. Landsat data has been widely used in forest change detection studies but many approaches lack capabilities such as assessing changes for long temporal sequences. Moreover, most methods are not capable of detecting gradual long term processes, such as post disturbance recovery. Following the open Landsat data policy implemented in 2008, but also due to the improved level 1 processing standards, Landsat remote sensing experienced considerable innovation, with many novel algorithms for automated preprocessing and also for change detection. Among these, trajectory based change detection methods provide new means for assessing forest cover changes using Landsat data. For example, disturbances can be assessed on a yearly basis and residual noise in the time series is effectively reduced, enabling the previously impossible detection of gradual changes (e.g. recovery, degradation). We here demonstrate the analytic power of an annual time series approach (using the Landsat based detection of trends in disturbance and recovery (LandTrendr) algorithm) by assessing forest cover dynamics for an area in Romania, Eastern Europe. Our results illustrate that trajectory-based time series approaches can successfully be applied in relatively data scarce regions. Annual disturbance patterns allow for improved process understanding, and provide valuable inputs to a range of applications, including resource management, climate modelling or socio-ecological systems understanding, as in the case of Romania.
KeywordsForest Cover Change Time Series Approach Change Detection Method Disturbance Class Time Series Segmentation
This research was funded by the Belgian Science Policy, Research Program for Earth Observation Stereo II, contract SR/00/133, as part of the FOMO project (Remote sensing of the forest transition and its ecosystem impacts in mountain environments). Support is gratefully acknowledged by Humboldt-University Berlin.
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