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Reconstructing Historical Land Cover Type and Complexity by Synergistic Use of Landsat Multispectral Scanner and CORONA

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Amir Reza Shahtahmassebi
  • Yue Lin
  • Lin Lin
  • Peter Michael Atkinson
  • Nathan Moore
  • Ke Wang
  • Shan He
  • Lingyan Huang
  • Jiexia Wu
  • Zhangquan Shen
  • Muye Gan
  • Xinyu Zheng
  • Yue Su
  • Hongfen Teng
  • Xiaoyan Li
  • Jinsong Deng
  • Yuanyuan Sun
  • Mengzhu Zhao
Article number682
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/07/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Remote Sensing
Issue number7
Number of pages23
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Survey data describing land cover information such as type and diversity over several decades are scarce. Therefore, our capacity to reconstruct historical land cover using field data and archived remotely sensed data over large areas and long periods of time is somewhat limited. This study explores the relationship between CORONA texture—a surrogate for actual land cover type and complexity—with spectral vegetation indices and texture variables derived from Landsat MSS under the Spectral Variation Hypothesis (SVH) such as to reconstruct historical continuous land cover type and complexity. Image texture of CORONA was calculated using a mean occurrence measure while image textures of Landsat MSS were calculated by occurrence and co-occurrence measures. The relationship between these variables was evaluated using correlation and regression techniques. The reconstruction procedure was undertaken through regression kriging. The results showed that, as expected, texture based on the visible bands and corresponding indices indicated larger correlation with CORONA texture, a surrogate of land cover (correlation >0.65). In terms of prediction, the combination of the first-order mean of band green, second-order measure of tasseled cap brightness, second-order mean of Normalized Visible Index (NVI) and second-order entropy of NIR yielded the best model with respect to Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC), r-square, and variance inflation factors (VIF). The regression model was then used in regression kriging to map historical continuous land cover. The resultant maps indicated the type and degree of complexity in land cover. Moreover, the proposed methodology minimized the impacts of topographic shadow in the region. The performance of this approach was compared with two conventional classification methods: hard classifiers and continuous classifiers. In contrast to conventional techniques, the technique could clearly quantify land cover complexity and type. Future applications of CORONA datasets such as this one could include: improved quality of CORONA imagery, studies of the CORONA texture measures for extracting ecological parameters (e.g., species distributions), change detection and super resolution mapping using CORONA and Landsat MSS.