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Rapid detection of new and expanding human settlements in the Limpopo province of South Africa using a spatio-temporal change detection method

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 09:23 authored by Kleynhans, W, Brian SalmonBrian Salmon, Wessels, KJ, Jan OlivierJan Olivier
Recent development has identified the benefits of using hyper-temporal satellite time series data for land cover change detection and classification in South Africa. In particular, the monitoring of human settlement expansion in the Limpopo province is of relevance as it is the one of the most pervasive forms of land-cover change in this province which covers an area of roughly 125 000 km2. In this paper, a spatio-temporal autocorrelation change detection (STACD) method is developed to improve the performance of a pixel based temporal Autocorrelation change detection (TACD) method previously proposed. The objective is to apply the algorithm to large areas to detect the conversion of natural vegetation to settlement which is then validated by an operator using additional data (such as high resolution imagery). Importantly, as the objective of the method is to indicate areas of potential change to operators for further analysis, a low false alarm rate is required while achieving an acceptable probability of detection. Results indicate that detection accuracies of 70% of new settlement instances are achievable at a false alarm rate of less than 1% with the STACD method, an improvement of up to 17% compared to the original TACD formulation.


Publication title

International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation








School of Engineering


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication


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Copyright 2015 Elsevier

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Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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