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Land Cover Changes and Flows in the Polish Baltic Coastal Zone: A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Military University of Technology, 00-908 Warsaw, Poland
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Remote Sens. 2020, 12(13), 2088; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12132088
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 26 June 2020 / Accepted: 27 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing Applications in Coastal Environment)
Detecting land cover changes requires timely and accurate information, which can be assured by using remotely sensed data and Geographic Information System(GIS). This paper examines spatiotemporal trends in land cover changes in the Polish Baltic coastal zone, especially the urbanisation, loss of agricultural land, afforestation, and deforestation. The dynamics of land cover change and its impact were discussed as the major findings. The analysis revealed that land cover changes on the Polish Baltic coast have been consistent throughout the 1990–2018 period, and in the consecutive inventories of land cover, they have changed faster. As shown in the research, the area of agricultural land was subject to significant change, i.e., about 40% of the initial 8% of the land area in heterogeneous agriculture was either developed or abandoned at about equal rates. Next, the steady growth of the forest and semi-natural area also changed the land cover. The enlargement of the artificial surface was the third observed trend of land cover changes. However, the pace of land cover changes on the Baltic coast is slightly slower than in the rest of Poland and the European average. The region is very diverse both in terms of land cover, types of land transformation, and the pace of change. Hence, the Polish national authorities classified the Baltic coast as an area of strategic intervention requiring additional action to achieve territorial cohesion and the goals of sustainable development. View Full-Text
Keywords: Baltic coast; Poland; CORINE Land Cover; land cover flow; urbanisation; afforestation; deforestation; spatial analysis; SDGs Baltic coast; Poland; CORINE Land Cover; land cover flow; urbanisation; afforestation; deforestation; spatial analysis; SDGs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bielecka, E.; Jenerowicz, A.; Pokonieczny, K.; Borkowska, S. Land Cover Changes and Flows in the Polish Baltic Coastal Zone: A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2088.

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