Principal Investigator:
Peter Potapov

NASA (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Time period:


Project Description:

In the former “Eastern Bloc” countries, there have been dramatic changes in forest disturbance and forest recovery rates since the collapse of the Soviet Union, due to the transition to open-market economies, and the recent economic crisis. Eastern European countries collected their forest statistics inconsistently, and their boundaries have changed, making it difficult to analyze forest dynamics over time. Our goal in the current project is to consistently quantify forest cover change across Eastern Europe since the 1980s based on the Landsat image archive, to inform further socio-economic analysis, biodiversity and carbon modelling. We developed an algorithm to simultaneously process large amount of  data from different Landsat platforms and sensors (TM and ETM +) to map annual forest cover loss and decadal forest cover gain. Results of the project have been published in Potapov, P. V., et al. "Eastern Europe's forest cover dynamics from 1985 to 2012 quantified from the full Landsat archive." Remote Sensing of Environment 159 (2015): 28-43.