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Open AccessArticle

Monitoring Cropland Dynamics of the Yellow River Delta based on Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery over 1986 to 2015

1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
2
Zhejiang-CAS Application Center for Geoinformatics, No. 568 Jinyang East Road, Jiashan 314100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Eric Vaz and Jamal Jokar Arsanjani
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14834-14858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su71114834
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Natural deltas can provide human beings with flat and fertile land to be cultivated. It is important to monitor cropland dynamics to provide policy-relevant information for regional sustainable development. This paper utilized Landsat imagery to study the cropland dynamics of the Yellow River Delta during the last three decades. Multi-temporal Landsat data were used to account for the phenological variations of different plants. Several spectral and textural features were adopted to increase the between-class separability. The robust random forest classifier was used to generate the land cover maps of the Yellow River Delta for 1986, 1995, 2005 and 2015. Experimental results indicated that the proposed methodology showed good performance with an average classification accuracy of 89.44%. The spatial-temporal analysis indicated that the cropland area increased from 467.6 km2 in 1986 to 718.5 km2 in 2015 with an average growth rate of 8.65 km2/year. The newly created croplands were mainly due to the reclamation of grassland and bare soil while the losses of croplands were due to abandoned cultivation and urban sprawl. The results demonstrate that a sustainable perspective should be adopted by the decision makers in order to simultaneously maintain food security, industrial development and ecosystem safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: cropland; the Yellow River Delta; multi-temporal; random forest; landsat cropland; the Yellow River Delta; multi-temporal; random forest; landsat
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Feng, Q.; Gong, J.; Liu, J.; Li, Y. Monitoring Cropland Dynamics of the Yellow River Delta based on Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery over 1986 to 2015. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14834-14858.

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