Assessing land cover change resulting from surface mining development (a case study of Prestea and its environs in the Western Region of Ghana)

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April, 2015
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Land use and land cover change (LULCC); also known as land change is a general term for the human modification of Earth's terrestrial surface. LULCC are the direct and indirect consequence of human actions to secure essential resources. It has become necessary to analyse these land changes for the management of natural resources and maintenance of the environment. The rate of urbanization and industrialization in Prestea is causing rapid change to LULC. Mining activities, especially surface mining in the area is creating pressure on the land cover, influencing other activities such as, deforestation, building of houses and industries, farming and other anthropogenic activities. In view of this problem of land cover change, this project was aimed at mapping, monitoring and analysing the spatio-temporal LULCC patterns using multi-temporal satellite images from 1990 - 2010 within the study area (Prestea and its environs). Modelling and analysis of these multispectral images were performed using Erdas Imagine software and Idrisi selva. Seven LULC classes were identified including; high density forest, sparse forest, farmland, built-up, barren land, water and mine site. The results showed that during the period under review (1990-2010) there have been losses in high density forest and sparse forest, while farmland, built-up and mine site have seen some increase. Also the annual rate of change within this period was found to be 2.25%. A LULC map for 2030 was generated for the study area using the 1990 to 2010 LULC map assuming that the transmission mechanisms stay the same, to project areas under risk of invasion in future. The results of the projection revealed an expansion of all land cover classes except high density forest and sparse forest, indicating an increase of 2.11%, 1.56% and 1.35% in farmland, built-up and mine site respectively.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Geomatic Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Geomatic Engineering,