Changes in the Area of Forests in Rondonia, Amazon Basin, Measured by Satellite Imagery

  • George M. Woodwell
  • Richard A. Houghton
  • Thomas A. Stone
  • Archibald B. Park


The transformation of tropical forests to pasture, crops, and barren land, now rapidly underway wherever tropical forests occur (Myers 1980; Fearnside 1982; Lanly 1982), contributes to the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere (Woodwell and Houghton 1977; Woodwell et al. 1978, 1983a,b; Houghton et al. 1983). The greatest promise in measurement of the rate of change in area of forests lies in use of satellite imagery, available since 1972 in the LANDSAT series with a resolution of about 80 m [NASA 1983, Woodwell et al. 1983a, Klemas and Hardisky 1983, Woodwell 19841. We have developed a special technique using LANDSAT imagery from different times to make direct measurements of changes in the area of forests. The technique was developed for Maine and tested in Washington (Woodwell et al. 1983a). We report here an application of the technique in the tropical moist forests of the state of Rondonia in the Brazilian Amazon (Fig. 13.1).


Test Site Carbon Stock Amazon Basin LANDSAT Imagery Forest Clearing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Woodwell
  • Richard A. Houghton
  • Thomas A. Stone
  • Archibald B. Park

There are no affiliations available

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