Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor's Name

Michael E. McClain

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dean Whitman

Third Advisor's Name

David Bray

Date of Defense



Classification procedures, including atmospheric correction satellite images as well as classification performance utilizing calibration and validation at different levels, have been investigated in the context of a coarse land-cover classification scheme for the Pachitea Basin. Two different correction methods were tested against no correction in terms of reflectance correction towards a common response for pseudo-invariant features (PIF). The accuracy of classifications derived from each of the three methods was then assessed in a discriminant analysis using crossvalidation at pixel, polygon, region, and image levels. Results indicate that only regression adjusted images using PIFs show no significant difference between images in any of the bands. A comparison of classifications at different levels suggests though that at pixel, polygon, and region levels the accuracy of the classifications do not significantly differ between corrected and uncorrected images.

Spatial patterns of land-cover were analyzed in terms of colonization history, infrastructure, suitability of the land, and landownership. The actual use of the land is driven mainly by the ability to access the land and markets as is obvious in the distribution of land cover as a function of distance to rivers and roads. When considering all rivers and roads a threshold distance at which disproportional agro-pastoral land cover switches from over represented to under represented is at about 1km. Best land use suggestions seem not to affect the choice of land use. Differences in abundance of land cover between watersheds are more prevailing than differences between colonist and indigenous groups.





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