Quantifying Urban Land Cover Change Between 2001 and 2006 in the Gulf of Mexico Region

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impervious surface, urban, land cover, satellite image

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We estimated urbanization rates (2001–2006) in the Gulf of Mexico region using the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001 and 2006 impervious surface products. An improved method was used to update the NLCD impervious surface product in 2006 and associated land cover transition between 2001 and 2006. Our estimation reveals that impervious surface increased 416 km2 with a growth rate of 5.8% between 2001 and 2006. Approximately 1110.1 km2 of non-urban lands were converted into urban land, resulting in a 3.2% increase in the region. Hay/pasture, woody wetland, and evergreen forest represented the three most common land cover classes that transitioned to urban. Among these land cover transitions, more than 50% of the urbanization occurred within 50 km of the coast. Our analysis shows that the close-to-coast land cover transition trend, especially within 10 km off the coast, potentially imposes substantial long-term impacts on regional landscape and ecological conditions.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Geocarto International, v. 27, issue 6, p. 479–497