Avoidable deforestation (2000-2005) from MODIS VCF

Contact Mark Mulligan . Click here to access the visualisations (requires Google Earth version 4+). How to use (video) (requires Adobe flash )

VCF_change is a land use change alert system based on the MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields tree cover product (Collection 4, release 3) The VCF data for 2000 to 2005 were mosaiced and processed to calculate the following globally :

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2000-2005

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2000-2001

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2001-2002

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2002-2003

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2003-2004

    • Change in tree cover percentage from 2004-2005

Tree cover change between 2000 and 2005 (Mato Grosso, Brazil)

Tree cover, year 2000 (Mato Grosso, Brazil)

Change is colour coded so that losses in tree cover cover the range light orange to dark red from 0 to -100% and gains in tree cover cover the range light green to dark green over the range 0 to +100%. A legend is provided. The tree cover % layers for each year are also provided. All imagery are superoverlays so the resolution of the imagery increases on zooming in. Areas with no tree cover or no tree cover change are transparent.

Tree cover, year 2005 (Mato Grosso, Brazil)

VCF_change is designed to allow rapid regional and local visualisation of areas of forest cover loss and gain over recent years. The data are at 500m resolution and so do not pick up small scale change. See Terrascope for detailed visual change analysis in Google Earth. The rationale for VCF_change is to provide an easy mechanism for visual change detection for non remote-sensing specialists who may be interested in environmental change research (desertification, land use change, urbanisation), awareness raising (of hotspots for habitat loss for example), and conservation monitoring or prioritisation uses. The annual change fields are sensitive to changes in water body dimensions and occasionally to cloud cover in some very cloudy areas so care should be taken in interpretation. MODIS natural colour imagery is provided for the same years to help users separate real land use change from remote sensing artefacts.

Tree cover change associated with large new plantations, eastern Para, Brazil