Land Cover Change in Hawaii

Spearheaded by Matt Lucas,  this project developed high resolution, sub-pixel percent cover maps of forest, grassland and bare earth annually across Hawaii from 1999 to 2016. Vegetation cover was quantified using archived LANDSAT imagery and a custom remote-sensing algorithm developed in the Google Earth Engine platform. 

 

The aim of this work was to quantify total area and rate of vegetation land cover change statewide.  Results indicated that approximately 6.4% of Hawaii's land surfaces are changing. The largest change was increase in forest cover, occurring mostly in unmanaged areas, pasture land, forestry and abandoned cultivated land. 

 

This product will improve the understanding of the direct land cover impacts from land use changes, and provide researchers, managers and decision makers a means to evaluate landscape scale consequences of land use and management choices.