Land Cover Change Detection using Data Mining Techniques

Date of Submission: 
March 14, 2008
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The study of land cover change is an important problem in the Earth science domain because of its impacts on local climate, radiation balance, biogeochemistry, hydrology, and the diversity and abundance of terrestrial species. Data mining and knowledge discovery techniques can aid this effort by efficiently discovering patterns that capture complex interactions between ocean temperature, air pressure, surface meteorology, and terrestrial carbon flux. Most well-known change detection techniques from statistics, signal processing and control theory are not well-suited for the massive high-dimensional spatio-temporal data sets from Earth Science due to limitations such as high computational complexity and the inability to take advantage of seasonality and spatio-temporal autocorrelation inherent in Earth Science data. In our work, we seek to address these challenges with new change detection techniques that are based on data mining approaches. Specifically, in this paper we have performed a case study for a new change detection technique for the land cover change detection problem. We study land cover change in the state of California, focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area as well perform an extended study on the entire state. We also perform a comparative evaluation on forests in the entire state. These results demonstrate the utility of data mining techniques for the land cover change detection problem.