Monitoring Forest Cover Trends in Northeastern Kansas through Historical and Multi-Temporal Satellite-Image Analysis

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2003

Publication Title

Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science


Forest cover, land use, forest management, reflectance, infrared reflection, deciduous forests, bottomland forests, Landsat, image analysis, grasses


This study documents a management history for two forested sites at Fort Leavenworth military reservation in Leavenworth County of northeastern Kansas. Additionally, we monitor forest cover change in the study area through the application of a single-band, multi-date satellite image analysis method. We use existing land use records and information from key informants to reconstruct a history of forest use. Our examination reveals that while the past witnessed significant timber felling from these forests, more recent ‘benign neglect’ management approaches have contributed to a resurgence in the grown of woody species. To monitor recent trends in forest cover change, we successfully employ a multi-date image analysis method using Landsat Thematic Mapper™ data from 1987, 1992 and 1997. Furthermore, a cursory comparison between this technique and routine land use classifications reveals significantly more information on the direction of change and vegetation health from the multi-date method.


This article was originally published in Transactions of the Academy of Sciences, Kansas, a Kansas Academy of Science publication. More information can be found at their website: