This study analyzed the spatiotemporal pattern of settlement expansion in Abuja, Nigeria, one of West Africa’s fastest developing cities, using geoinformation and ancillary datasets. Three epochs of Land-use Land-cover (LULC) maps for 1986, 2001 and 2014 were derived from Landsat images using support vector machines (SVM). Accuracy assessment (AA) of the LULC maps based on the pixel count resulted in overall accuracy of 82%, 92% and 92%, while the AA derived from the error adjusted area (EAA) method stood at 69%, 91% and 91% for 1986, 2001 and 2014, respectively. Two major techniques for detecting changes in the LULC epochs involved the use of binary maps as well as a post-classification comparison approach. Quantitative spatiotemporal analysis was conducted to detect LULC changes with specific focus on the settlement development pattern of Abuja, the federal capital city (FCC) of Nigeria. Logical transitions to the urban category were modelled for predicting future scenarios for the year 2050 using the embedded land change modeler (LCM) in the IDRISI package. Based on the EAA, the result showed that urban areas increased by more than 11% between 1986 and 2001. In contrast, this value rose to 17% between 2001 and 2014. The LCM model projected LULC changes that showed a growing trend in settlement expansion, which might take over allotted spaces for green areas and agricultural land if stringent development policies and enforcement measures are not implemented. In conclusion, integrating geospatial technologies with ancillary datasets offered improved understanding of how urbanization processes such as increased imperviousness of such a magnitude could influence the urban microclimate through the alteration of natural land surface temperature. Urban expansion could also lead to increased surface runoff as well as changes in drainage geography leading to urban floods.
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