University of Wisconsin–Madison
Spatial Analysis For Conservation and Sustainability

Land-cover change maps of the Caucasus



Mountainous regions are changing rapidly across the world due to both land-use change and climate change. Given the importance of mountainous regions for ecosystem services and endemic biodiversity, monitoring these changes is essential. Satellite data provide a great resource to map land-cover change in mountainous regions, however mapping is especially challenging there because topographic complexity affects reflectance. Here, we performed a long-term land-cover change assessment for a large mountainous region, i.e., the Caucasus Mountains with topographic correction.

The land-cover map for 2015 consists of 10 land-cover classes (1: coniferous forest, 2: mixed forest, 3: deciduous forest, 4: barren, 5: rangeland, 6: cropland, 7: built-up, 8: wetlands, 9: water, 10: snow and ice). Land-cover change maps exist for cropland (cropland = 1, non-cropland = 0, transitional cropland = 2) and forest (forest = 1, non-forest = 0, transitional forest = 2) for 6 time steps (1987, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015). All Caucasus land-cover and land-cover change maps are stored as GeoTIFF format at 30 meter spatial resolution and projected to Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (Datum: WGS 1984, latitude of origin: 42.5, central meridian: 43.5).