EXAMINATION OF LULC OVER NIGERIA BETWEEN 1991 AND 2016. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Remote sensing is used in this research work for the development and acquisition of Land use/land cover data, pattern and its attendant effects in Warri metropolis, Delta State Nigeria. Remote sensing images and digital data verified by ground trothing (field work) satellite data are used to assess the rate of change in Land use / Land cover between 1991 and 2016. Remote sensing and geographic Information System (GIS) help integrate natural, cultural, social and economic information to create spatial information system on the available terrain resources. Sets of United states geological society (USGS) images were acquired corresponding with the years, field checked to ascertain the data captured on the terrain. The digital satellite data are incorporated as input data into ArcGIS software to separately map out the land use/land cover units and their magnitude determine. Three distinct units were identified in classification of land use/landed cover pattern categories as follows: Built-up areas, vegetation and Water bodies. Ground truthing was carried out to ascertain the accuracy of data and there are major changes in the land use/land cover. It was discovered that there are rapid inbuilt-up areas evidently explained in buildings projects that resulted in decrease in forest land, agricultural land and open space. This is attributed to the anthropogenic activities of farming, bush burning, grazing, etc. However, the area occupied by water remained unchanged over the years. This study demonstrates that remotely sensed data and GIS based approach is found to be timely and cost effective than the conventional method of analysis, classification of land use pattern effective for planning and management.
1.1 Background of study
Land is a specific area of the earth surface with physical entity in terms of its topography and spatial nature (Ashaye, 1987), and one of the characteristic of space that is widely recognized as significant for planning and management purposes (Anderson, Hardy, Roach and Witmer, 1976). Land is therefore, a key element for any developmental processes that takes place on the earth surface but land in urban areas suffers unique ecological and economic pressures (Drescher, 2000), leading to a lost in its land based. Land is the most important natural resources on which all activities are based.
Land cover (LC) according to Campbell (1996), refers to the physical cover of the earth including natural vegetation, crops, artificial constructions that cover the land surface On the other hand, land use (LU) refers to the actual use of the land which is the purpose for which man exploits the land cover (Omojola, 1997); land use describes the use of the land by the people usually with emphasis on the functional role of land on economic activities (Campbell, 1996): and man‘s activities which are directly related to the land (Anderson, Hardy, Roach and Witmer, 1976). Therefore, Land use and land cover (LULC) are treated jointly. They represent both the physical cover and the human imprints on land. Therefore, Land use-land cover (LULC) is among the most important phenomenon of the earth‘s land surface (Lambin and Geist, 2001).
The land use/ land cover pattern of a region is an outcome of natural and socio – economic factors and their utilization by man in time and space. Land is becoming a scarce resource due to immense agricultural and demographic pressure. Hence, information on land use / land cover and possibilities for their optimal use is essential for the selection, planning and implementation of land use schemes to meet the increasing demands for basic human needs and welfare.
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