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Detecting Urban Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes in Mississauga Using Landsat TM Images

J. Li* and H. M. Zhao

Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3, Canada

*Corresponding author. Email:


The City of Mississauga in Ontario has been experiencing a fast urban growth in the past two decades which has caused rapid loss of the valuable farm and open space land. Land-use and land-cover maps of the City were produced from Landsat TM images for 1985 and 1999, spanning a period of 14 years. Dramatic changes in land use and land cover have occurred, with loss of forest, cropland and water body to urban use. In particular, low-density urban use, which includes largely residential use, has increased by over 7.4% between 1985 and 1999. These land-use and land-cover changes have drastically altered the land surface characteristics. An analysis of Landsat TM images revealed an increase of 23.7 km2 of built-up area and a decrease of non-built (23.2 km2) and water area (0.5 km2). This paper illustrates the usefulness of a remote sensing approach for the urban change studies. According to the land-use and land-cover maps, four vegetation-impervious surface-soil (V-I-S) patterns of the city development were identified pertain to Mississauga’s features.

Keywords: Change detection, land cover, land use, Landsat TM, remote sensing, urban mapping

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