Estimation of late twentieth century land-cover change in California

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
By: , and 



We present the first comprehensive multi-temporal analysis of land-cover change for California across its major ecological regions and primary land-cover types. Recently completed satellite-based estimates of land-cover and land-use change information for large portions of the United States allow for consistent measurement and comparison across heterogeneous landscapes. Landsat data were employed within a pure-panel stratified one-stage cluster sample to estimate and characterize land-cover change for 1973–2000. Results indicate anthropogenic and natural disturbances, such as forest cutting and fire, were the dominant changes, followed by large fluctuations between agriculture and rangelands. Contrary to common perception, agriculture remained relatively stable over the 27-year period with an estimated loss of 1.0% of agricultural land. The largest net declines occurred in the grasslands/shrubs class at 5,131 km2 and forest class at 4,722 km2. Developed lands increased by 37.6%, composing an estimated 4.2% of the state’s land cover by 2000.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Estimation of late twentieth century land-cover change in California
Series title Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
DOI 10.1007/s10661-010-1385-8
Volume 173
Issue 1-4
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Springer
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, Western Geographic Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 251
Last page 266
Country United States
State California
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