Toronto Metropolitan University
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Investigating Forest Disturbance Using Landsat Data in the Nagagamisis Central Plateau, Ontario, Canada

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-22, 17:44 authored by K. Wayne ForsytheK. Wayne Forsythe, Grant McCartney
The Nagagamisis Central Plateau (located in Northern Ontario, Canada) is an area of distinct natural and cultural significance. The importance of this land was officially recognized in 1957 through the establishment of the Nagagamisis Provincial Park Reserve. The park has experienced significant expansion since its inception and is currently under development as one of Ontario Parks ‘Signature Sites’. Since the 1980s, timber harvest activity has led to widespread forest disturbance just outside of the park boundaries. This research is focused on the detection of stand level forest disturbances associated with timber harvest occurring near Nagagamisis Provincial Park. The image time-series data selected for this project were Landsat TM and ETM+; spanning a twenty-five year period from 1984 to 2009. The Tasselled Cap Transformation and Normalized Difference Moisture Index were derived for use in unsupervised image classification to determine the land cover for each image in the time-series. Image band differencing and raster arithmetic were performed to create maps illustrating the size and spatial distribution of stand level forest disturbances between image dates. A total area of 1649 km2 or 26.1% of the study area experienced stand level disturbance during the analysis period.