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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 2899-2925; doi:10.3390/rs70302899

Dynamics of Land Cover/Land Use Changes in the Mekong Delta, 1973–2011: A Remote Sensing Analysis of the Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam

1
Department of Geography, Earth System Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
2
Faculty of Surveying and Mapping, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
3
Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, Hanoi 10000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ioannis Gitas and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 9 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
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Abstract

The main objective of this study is to assess the spatio-temporal dynamics of land cover/land use changes in the lower Mekong Delta over the last 40 years with the coastal Tran Van Thoi District of Ca Mau Province, Vietnam as a case study. Land cover/land use change dynamics are derived from moderate to high spatial resolution (Landsat and SPOT) satellite imagery in six time intervals ranging from 1973 to 2011. Multi-temporal satellite images were collected, georeferenced, classified using per-pixel method, validated, and compared in post classification for the land use/land cover change detection in decades. Seven major land cover/land use classes were obtained, including cultivated lands, aquaculture ponds, mangrove forest, melaleuca forest, built up areas, bare lands, and natural water bodies. The accuracies of the land cover/land use maps for 1973, 1979, 1989, 1995, 2004, and 2011 were 81%, 82%, 86%, 87%, 89%, and 89%, respectively. The results show that the area of cultivated lands reduced over the period 1973–2011, however, it still represents the dominant land use in the case study. Aquaculture ponds were almost absent in 1973 but greatly increased from 1995 to 2004, to represent 20% of the land surface in 2011. Overall, from 1973 to 2011, bare lands, cultivated lands, mangrove forest, and melaleuca forest decreased by 104 km2, 77 km2, 61 km2, and 5 km2, respectively. In contrast, aquaculture lands and built up areas increased by 123 km2 and 120 km2, respectively. Temporal analysis highlights that these changes took place mostly between 1995 and 2004. This study is a first step to identify the main drivers of land use changes in this delta region, which include economical policies as well as demographic, socio-economic, and environmental changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; land cover/land use change; SPOT; Landsat; cultivated lands; aquaculture; mangrove; melaleuca; Tran Van Thoi; Ca Mau remote sensing; land cover/land use change; SPOT; Landsat; cultivated lands; aquaculture; mangrove; melaleuca; Tran Van Thoi; Ca Mau
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tran, H.; Tran, T.; Kervyn, M. Dynamics of Land Cover/Land Use Changes in the Mekong Delta, 1973–2011: A Remote Sensing Analysis of the Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 2899-2925.

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