Monitoring land use /land cover using multi-temporal Landsat images in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar area in Libya between 1984 and 2003
Keywords:Rangeland, Satellite images, land cover change, Libya
This study investigated the change in land cover of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar from 1984 to 2003 by using satellite images. Four categories of land-cover (forest, rangeland, urban area and desert) were studied to determine the change between 1984 and 2003. Supervised classifications were performed on the Landsat 5 images. The land resources database showed that the rangeland and forest recorded negative change over the years under study while it was a significant positive change in the urban areas. The most significant change was the desert expanding. Rangeland surface proportions were 43.34% in 1984 but were decreased to 28.63% in 2003. Forest surface proportions were 22.13% in 1984 but were decreased to 10.17% in 2003. This can be attributed to human activities, which includes over- grazing, indiscriminate bush burning, fire and urban areas. This is a clear indication of an increase in population and infrastructure development in the study area, regardless of use or pattern. Information from satellite remote sensing can play a useful role in understanding the nature of land use and land cover changes (LULCC), where they are occurring, and projecting possible or likely future changes.
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