Integrating Remote Sensing Techniques, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Stochastic Models for Monitoring Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) Changes in the Northern Coastal Region of Nayarit, Mexico

GIScience & Remote SensingGIScience & Remote Sensing, Volume 48, Number 2 / April-June 2011

César Alejandro Berlanga-Robles and Arturo Ruiz-Luna

“Land use and land cover (LULC) changes in northern Nayarit, Mexico were estimated using post-classification change detection methods and a Markov chain model. Three thematic maps were generated by classifying Landsat images from 1973, 1900, and 2000, which were then overlaid to generate three change-detection matrices to assess the intensity and direction of changes. Between 25% and 30% of the region displayed LULC changes, attributable to a stochastic behavior that can be modeled with a first-order Markov chain. The steady-state distribution estimates indicate that the LULC patterns in the region have not yet reached equilibrium and predict the expansion of the agricultural boundaries.”