Analyzing and Predicting Land Use and Land Cover Changes in New Jersey Using Multi-Layer Perceptron–Markov Chain Model

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This study analyzed the changes of land use and land cover (LULC) in New Jersey in the United States from 2007 to 2012. The goal was to identify the driving factors of these changes and to project the five-year trend to 2100. LULC data was obtained from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The original 86 classes were reclassified to 11 classes. Data analysis and projection were performed using TerrSet 2020. Results from 2007 to 2012 showed that the rate of LULC changes was relatively small. Most changes happened to brush/grasslands, mixed forest lands, farmlands and urban/developed lands. Urban/developed lands and the mixed-forest cover gained while farmlands lost. Using a multi-layer perceptron–Markov chain (MLP–MC) model, we projected the 2015 LULC and validated by actual data to produce a 2100 LULC. Changes from 2012 to 2100 showed that urban/developed lands, as well as brush/grasslands, would continue to gain, while farmlands would lose, although the projected landscape texture would likely be identical to the 2012 landscape. Human and natural factors were discussed. It was concluded that the MLP–MC model could be a useful model to predict short-term LULC change. Unexpected factors are likely to interfere in a long-term projection.

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Earth (Switzerland)

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