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Using Time-Series NDVI to Model Land Cover Change: A Case Study in the Berg River Catchment Area, Western Cape, South Africa

Authors: A. S. Adesuyi, Z. Munch


This study investigates the use of a time-series of MODIS NDVI data to identify agricultural land cover change on an annual time step (2007 - 2012) and characterize the trend. Following an ISODATA classification of the MODIS imagery to selectively mask areas not agriculture or semi-natural, NDVI signatures were created to identify areas cereals and vineyards with the aid of ancillary, pictometry and field sample data for 2010. The NDVI signature curve and training samples were used to create a decision tree model in WEKA 3.6.9 using decision tree classifier (J48) algorithm; Model 1 including ISODATA classification and Model 2 not. These two models were then used to classify all data for the study area for 2010, producing land cover maps with classification accuracies of 77% and 80% for Model 1 and 2 respectively. Model 2 was subsequently used to create land cover classification and change detection maps for all other years. Subtle changes and areas of consistency (unchanged) were observed in the agricultural classes and crop practices. Over the years as predicted by the land cover classification. Forty one percent of the catchment comprised of cereals with 35% possibly following a crop rotation system. Vineyards largely remained constant with only one percent conversion to vineyard from other land cover classes.

Keywords: Land Cover, change detection, NDVI, time-series

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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