Dietrich Schröder, Eric Kwabena Forkuo, and John Tiah Bugri
ISPRS Internatonal Journal of Geo-Information


Using Satellite Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, this paper analyzes the land use and land cover change dynamics in the Bosomtwe District of Ghana, for 1986, 2010 thematic mapper and enhanced thematic Mapper+ (TM/ETM+) images, and 2014 Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager and Thermal Infrared Sensor (OLI/TIS) image. The three images were geo-referenced and processed for classification, using the maximum likelihood classifier algorithm. A Jeffries-Matusita’s separability check was used in confirming the degree of spectral separation acceptability of the bands used for each of the land use and land cover classes. The best Kappa hat statistic of classification accuracy was 83%. Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) transition analysis in Environmental Systems Research Institute ESRI’s ArcMap was performed. The results of the classification over the three periods showed that built up, bare land and concrete surfaces increased from 1201 in 1986 to 5454 ha in 2010. Dense forest decreased by 2253 ha over the same period and increased by 873 ha by the 2014. Low forest also decreased by 1043 ha in 2010; however, it increased by 13% in 2014. Our findings showed some of the important changes in the land use and land cover patterns in the District. After the urbanization process, coupled with farmland abandonment, between 1986 and 2010, substantial increments in urban land and clear increments in farmland coverage between 1986 and 2014were found to be the reason for vegetation cover decreases. This suggests that major changes in the socio-ecological driving forces affecting landscape dynamics have occurred in the last few decades.