Remote sensing change detection and process analysis of long-term land use change and human impacts

Qiming ZHOU*, Baolin Li, Yumin Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates environmental change over a 30-year period and attempts to gain a better understanding of human impacts on an arid environment and their consequences for regional development. Multitemporal remotely sensed imagery was acquired and integrated to establish the basis for change detection and process analysis. Land cover changes were investigated in two categories, namely categorical change using image classification and quantitative change using a vegetation index. The results show that human-induced land cover changes have been minor in this remote area. However, the pace of growth of human-induced change has been accelerating since the early 1990s. The analysis of the multi-temporal vegetation index also shows no overall trend of rangeland deterioration, although local change of vegetation cover caused by human activities was noticeable. The results suggest that the current trend of rapid growth may not be sustainable and that the implementation of effective counter-measures for environmentally sound development is a rather urgent matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-818
Number of pages12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Arid zone
  • Change detection
  • Human impact assessment
  • Land use change
  • Remote sensing


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