Object-based cropland degradation identification: A case study in Uzbekistan

Olena Dubovyk, Gunter Menz, Christopher Conrad, Asia Khamzina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability of irrigated agriculture-based economies, such as in Central Asia, is threatened by cropland degradation. The field-based identification of the degraded agricultural areas can aid in developing appropriate land rehabilitation and monitoring programs. This paper combined the object-based change detection and spectral mixture analysis to develop an approach for identifying parcels of irrigated degraded cropland in Northern Uzbekistan, Central Asia. A linear spectral unmixing, followed by the object-based change vector analysis, was applied to the multiple Landsat TM images, acquired in 1987 and 2009. Considering a spectral dimensionality of Landsat TM, a multiple 4-endmember model (green vegetation, water, dark soil, and bright soil) was set up for the analysis. The spectral unmixing results were valid, as indicated by the low values of overall root mean square errors in a range below <2.5% for all images. The results of change detection revealed that about 34% (84,540 ha) of cropland in the study area were affected by the degradation processes to varying degrees. Spatial distribution of degraded fields was mainly associated with the abandoned fields and lands with inherently low fertile soils. The proposed approach could be elaborated for a field-based monitoring of cropland degradation in similar landscapes of Central Asia and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications III
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications III - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 2012 Sept 242012 Sept 26

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceEarth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS Applications III
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Central Asia
  • Change vector analysis
  • Irrigated cropland
  • Land cover degradation
  • Landsat TM
  • Object-based analysis
  • Spectral unmixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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