Modeled historical land use and land cover for the conterminous United States

Journal of Land Use Science
By: , and 



The landscape of the conterminous United States has changed dramatically over the last 200 years, with agricultural land use, urban expansion, forestry, and other anthropogenic activities altering land cover across vast swaths of the country. While land use and land cover (LULC) models have been developed to model potential future LULC change, few efforts have focused on recreating historical landscapes. Researchers at the US Geological Survey have used a wide range of historical data sources and a spatially explicit modeling framework to model spatially explicit historical LULC change in the conterminous United States from 1992 back to 1938. Annual LULC maps were produced at 250-m resolution, with 14 LULC classes. Assessment of model results showed good agreement with trends and spatial patterns in historical data sources such as the Census of Agriculture and historical housing density data, although comparison with historical data is complicated by definitional and methodological differences. The completion of this dataset allows researchers to assess historical LULC impacts on a range of ecological processes.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Modeled historical land use and land cover for the conterminous United States
Series title Journal of Land Use Science
DOI 10.1080/1747423X.2016.1147619
Volume 11
Issue 4
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 24 p.
First page 476
Last page 499
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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