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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-107
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-107
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 10 Jul 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 10 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

A national dataset of 30-m annual urban extent dynamics (1985–2015) in the conterminous United States

Xuecao Li1, Yuyu Zhou1, Zhengyuan Zhu2, and Wenting Cao1 Xuecao Li et al.
  • 1Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011, USA
  • 2Department of Statistics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA

Abstract. Dynamics of the urban extent at fine spatial and temporal resolutions over large areas are crucial for developing urban growth models and achieving sustainable development goals. However, there are limited practices of mapping urban dynamics with these two merits combined. In this study, we proposed a new method to map urban dynamics from Landsat time series data using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform and developed a national dataset of annual urban extent (1985–2015) at a fine spatial resolution (30 m) in the conterminous United States (US). First, we derived the change information of urbanized years in four periods that were determined from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD), using a temporal segmentation approach. Then, we classified urban extents in the beginning (1985) and ending (2015) years at the cluster level through implementing a change vector analysis (CVA) based approach. We developed a hierarchical strategy to apply the CVA based approach due to the spatially explicit urban sprawl over large areas. The overall accuracy of mapped urbanized years is around 90 % with the one-year tolerance strategy. The mapped urbanized areas in the beginning and ending years are reliable, with overall accuracies of 96 % and 88 %, respectively. Our results reveal that the total urban area increased by about 20 % during the period 1985–2015, and the annual urban area growth is not linear over the years. Overall, the growth pattern of urban extent in most coastal states is plateaued over the past three decades while the states in the Midwestern US show an accelerated growth pattern. The derived annual urban extents are of great use for relevant urban studies such as urban area projection and urban sprawl modeling in large areas. Moreover, the proposed mapping framework is transferable for developing annual dynamics of urban extent in other regions and even globally. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8190920.v2 (Li et al., 2019b).

Xuecao Li et al.
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A national dataset of 30-m annual urban extent dynamics (1985-2015) in the conterminous United States X. Li, Y. Zhou, Z. Zhu, and W. Cao https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.8190920.v2

Xuecao Li et al.
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Short summary
We generated a long-term (1985–2015), fine-resolution (30 m) product of annual urban dynamics in the conterminous United States using all available Landsat images on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. The data product is of great use for relevant urban studies such as urban growth projection, urban sprawl modeling, and urbanization impacts on environments.
We generated a long-term (1985–2015), fine-resolution (30 m) product of annual urban dynamics in...
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