IDENTIFICATION OF AFFECTED HIGH-ALTITUDE WETLANDS IN THE NORTH CHILE USING LARGE LANDSAT TIME SERIES
Keywords: change detection, Landsat, BFAST Monitor, wetlands, monitoring
Abstract. High-Andean wetlands from northern Chile are considered worldwide biodiversity hot spots, however, they are subdued to high anthropic pressure. The monitoring of state variables, such as vegetation, allows to know the ecosystem’s global condition, which could be assessed by the analysis of spectral vegetation indices. The main goal of this paper was to detect changes in the high-Andean wetland vegetation, with remote sensing tools, to focalize surveillance efforts and the use of resources from environmental agencies. NDVI time series were constructed spanning from 1986 to 2019 based on Landsat data, which were analyzed based on the vegetation change detection using BFAST Monitor method. Detected changes were categorized to highlight certain types of changes that were considered more relevant. Wetlands were separated in two rankings (A and B) based on detected changes and territorial context. From 5,622 wetlands, 81 were categorized into group A and 510 into group B. One affected wetland was used as study case to assess the method’s efficiency, being able to detect changes and assign a relative importance to the case. It is shown that the proposed method has the capacity to detect vegetation degradation processes in high-Andean wetlands and could improve in the efficiency and effectiveness of the environmental agencies control labors over these ecosystems.