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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Darren Napton


Land Cover, WELD Landsat, Ecoregion, Spatial comparison, Monitoring


In the United States, approximately 1.7 percent of the land surface changed between 2001 and 2006 and the highest land change occurred in the Pacific Northwest. In 27 years (1973-2000), the Coast Range, the Willamette Valley, and the Cascades ecoregions, the rate of land cover change was 26, 15, and 25 percent respectively, which is the highest among all the ecoregions of the United States. Land cover change is an important element of environmental change at all scales, so precise information is essential to ensure the optimum use of land resources, efficient management, and mitigation of the possible impacts of land cover change on the environment. The WELD Landsat is a new remotely sensed dataset that provides a viable source of information for monitoring land cover change. This study assessed the land cover change of three ecoregions (the Coast Range, the Willamette Valley, and the Cascades) and compared the pixel agreement between the WELD Landsat land cover maps with the USGS Land Cover Trends Project land cover maps. The WELD Landsat data was classified with unsupervised ISODATA clustering to map the land cover dynamics of these ecoregions, and 18 block maps, each with an area of 100 sq. km. (10 km by 10 km), equivalent to that of the Trends maps, were acquired to compare the blocks. In total, 2.3 percent of the land cover changed with an annual change of 0.46 percent between 2006 and 2010. Spatial comparison between the WELD Landsat map and the Trends map yielded an overall agreement of 89 percent with a kappa coefficient of 0.85. The result showed that the WELD Landsat data offers a high potential for land cover and other bio-physical change monitoring.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Land cover -- Northwest, Pacific
Land use mapping -- Northwest, Pacific
Landsat satellites
Environmental monitoring


Includes bibliographical references (pages 97-110)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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