Detecting Wetland Change through Supervised Classification of Landsat Satellite Imagery within the Tunkwa Watershed of British Columbia, Canada

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för Industriell utveckling, IT och Samhällsbyggnad

Abstract: Wetlands are considered to be one of the most valuable natural occurring forms of land cover in the world. Hydrologic regulation, carbon sequestration, and habitat provision for a wide assortment of flora and fauna are just a few of the benefits associated with wetlands. The implementation of satellite remote sensing has been demonstrated to be a reliable approach to monitoring wetlands over time. Unfortunately, a national wetland inventory does not exist for Canada at this time. This study employs a supervised classification method of Landsat satellite imagery between 1976 and 2008 within the Tunkwa watershed, southwest of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Images from 2005 and 2008 were repaired using a gap-filling technique due to do the failure of the scan-line corrector on the Landsat 7 satellite in 2003. Percentage pixel counts for wetlands were compared, and a diminishing trend was identified; approximately 4.8% of wetland coverage loss was recognized. The influence of the expansion of Highland Valley Copper and the forestry industry in the area may be the leading causes of wetland desiccation. This study expresses the feasibility of wetland monitoring using remote sensing and emphasizes the need for future work to compile a Canadian wetland inventory.

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