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Monitoring Land Cover Change Using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information System (GIS): A Case of Golden Pride and Geita Gold Mines, Tanzania

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: This study monitored land cover change in the mining sites of Golden Pride Gold Mine (GPGM) and Geita Gold Mine (GGM), Tanzania. The satellite data for land cover classification for the years 1997, 2010 and 2017 were obtained from the United States Geologic Survey Departments (USGS) online database and were analyzed using Arc GIS 10 software. Supervised classification composed of seven classes namely forest, bushland, agriculture, water, bare soil, urban area and grassland, was designed for this study, in order to classify Landsat images into thematic maps. In addition, future land cover changes for the year 2027 were simulated using a Cellular Automata (CA)-Markov model after validating the model using the Land Cover for the year 2017. The results from the LULC analysis showed that forest was the most dominant land cover type in 1997 at GPGM and GGM covering 510 ha (52.1 ) and 9833 ha (49.7 ) respectively. In 2017, the forest area decreased and the bushland replaced forest to be the most dominant land cover type covering 219 ha (22.4 ) for GPGM and 8878 ha (44.9 ) for GGM. Based on the CA-Markov model, a predicted land cover map for 2027 was dominated by forest covering 340 ha (34.7 ) and 8639 ha (43.7 ) for GPGM and GGM respectively. An overall accuracy and kappa coefficient for GPGM were 74.7 and 70.2 respectively and for GGM were 71.4 and 66.1 respectively. Thus, land cover changes resulting from mining activities involve reduction of forest land hence endangers biodiversity. GIS and remote sensing technologies are potential to detect the trend of changes and predict future land cover. The findings are crucial as it provides basis for land use planning and intensifies monitoring programs in the mining areas of Tanzania.

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