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Mapping abandoned agricultural land in Kyzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan using satellite remote sensing

Löw, Fabian and Fliemann, Elisabeth and Abdullaev, Iskandar and Conrad, Christopher and Lamers, John P.A. (2015) Mapping abandoned agricultural land in Kyzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan using satellite remote sensing. Applied Geography, 62, pp. 377-390. Elsevier. DOI: doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.05.009 ISSN 0143-6228

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Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0143622815001290

Abstract

In many regions worldwide, cropland abandonment is growing, which has strong and known environmental and socio-economic consequences. Yet, spatially explicit information on the spatial pattern of abandonment is sparse, particularly in post-Soviet countries of Central Asia. When thriving reaching for key Millennium Development Goals such as food security and poverty reduction, the issue of cropland abandonment is critical and therefore must be monitored and limited, or land use transformed into an alternative one. Central Asia experienced large changes of its agricultural system after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Land degradation, which started already before independence, and cropland abandonment is growing in extent, but their spatial pattern remains ill-understood. The objective of this study was to map and analyse agricultural land use in the irrigated areas of Kyzyl-Orda, southern Kazakhstan, Central Asia. For mapping land use and identifying abandoned agricultural land, an object-based classification approach was applied. Random forest (RF) and support vector machines (SVM) algorithms permitted classifying Landsat and RapidEye data from 2009 to 2014. Overlaying these maps with information about irrigated land parcels, installed during the Soviet period, allowed indicating abandoned fields. Fusing the results of the two approaches, RF and SVM, resulted in classification accuracies of up to 97%. This was statistically significantly higher than with RF or SVM alone. Through the analysis of the land use trajectories, abandoned agricultural fields and a clear indication of abandoned land were identified on almost 50% of all fields in Kyzyl-Orda with an accuracy of approximately 80%. The outputs of this study may provide valuable information for planners, policy- and decision-makers to support better-informed decision-making like reducing possible environmental impacts of land abandonment, or identifying areas for sustainable intensification or re-cultivation.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/96825/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mapping abandoned agricultural land in Kyzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan using satellite remote sensing
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Löw, Fabianfabian.loew (at) uni-wuerzburg.deUNSPECIFIED
Fliemann, ElisabethUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Abdullaev, IskandarUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Conrad, Christopherchristopher.conrad (at) uni-wuerzburg.deUNSPECIFIED
Lamers, John P.A.j.lamers (at) uni-bonn.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
Journal or Publication Title:Applied Geography
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:62
DOI :doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2015.05.009
Page Range:pp. 377-390
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0143-6228
Status:Published
Keywords:Abandoned cropland mapping; Central Asia; Aral sea; Land use trajectories; Decision fusion; Time-series
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Geowissenschaftl. Fernerkundungs- und GIS-Verfahren
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center
Deposited By: Wöhrl, Monika
Deposited On:24 Jun 2015 13:41
Last Modified:24 Jun 2015 13:41

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