Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007

An approach using Remote Sensing

Abdulahad Malik, Jonathan Sparling, Susanna Lee

Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Table Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................... 2 1.0 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................... 3 2.0 METHODOLOGY .......................................................................................... 4 2.1 Pre-processing .............................................................................................. 4 2.2 Thermal Change ........................................................................................... 4 2.3 Land-cover Change ....................................................................................... 6 2.4 Lake Water Quality ....................................................................................... 8 3.0 RESULTS .......................................................................................................10 3.1 Thermal Change .......................................................................................10 3.2 Land-cover Change ......................................................................................14 3.3 Lake Water Quality ...................................................................................21 4.0 DISCUSSION .................................................................................................26 4.1 Thermal Change ..........................................................................................26 4.2 Land-cover Change ......................................................................................27 4.3 Lake Water Quality ......................................................................................29 5.0 CONCLUSION ...............................................................................................31 6.0 BIBLIOGRAPHY ...........................................................................................32


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Through the use of remote sensing the major goal of the study is to evaluate reclamation efforts undertaken by VETAC in Sudbury. VETAC‟s major mandate is to promote sustainability and enhance the environment through land reclamation projects, urban landscaping, and community outreach in Sudbury. To evaluate change as a result of VETAC‟s initiatives, the following study was completed using Landsat 5 imagery processed by ENVI and ArcGIS to derive results. The analyses in the study were divided in three parts. In the first part of the study the change in landscape from 1984 to 2007 was analyzed using remote sensing change detection techniques including image differencing, principal component analysis, and post classification comparison. In the second part the study area was analyzed for urban heat island phenomenon by comparing thermal changes in relation to vegetation changes. Thermal changes were analyzed by comparing thermal signatures from of 1984 and 2007 images, as well as selected LSTs. The last part of the study dealt with observing change in water quality parameter. Water quality for all the lakes in the study area was analyzed by first acquiring historical in-situ water quality data that corresponded with Landsat image capture dates, by extracting reflectance values from Landsat image, and by using linear regression models to study relationships between extracted reflectance and historical in-situ data. Evidently significant change has taken place in Sudbury, by using image differencing and principal component analysis, qualitative and visual change was observed. Post classification comparison method on the other hand quantified the change and presented the results in the form of a change matrix. From the comparison matrix, increase in the reclaimed land and dense vegetation in 2007 was observed while a significant decrease in the built up and barren land was also evident. The results for thermal analysis showed and overall higher temperatures in 1984 due to barren and built up areas. Thermal signatures of 2007 images showed characteristic of urban heat island where urban core of Sudbury had high temperatures while the rural and vegetative areas had low temperatures. It was also observed that more vegetation had actually caused greater difference in temperature. Finally water quality analysis showed an increase in the levels of phosphorus and DOC concentrations in lakes around Sudbury with the exception of Kelly Lake. Increase in DOC was possibly due to increased presence of organic matter signifying lake water quality improvements. On the other hand increase in phosphorus was possibly due to the constant fertilizing of reclaimed land through VETAC's continued reclamation efforts. Additionally, error analysis revealed regression-derived phosphorus distribution maps were unreliable since significant average error existed. Error analysis for DOC distribution maps was also imprecise; however, average error was more acceptable than phosphorous. Finally, the lack of dates and coordinates of water quality sampling locations affected accuracy of the analysis.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Many regions have developed and implemented environmental initiatives to improve the environmental conditions of their area, but how many are successfully completely and how effective were the actions of the plan? In order to explore the answers for this question, we have chosen to research about and analyze the effects of Sudbury, Ontario‟s re -greening program performed by their VETAC committee. The VETAC, standing for Vegetation Enhancement Technical Advisory Committee, is devoted to promoting sustainability and enhancing the environment of Sudbury, with projects that include, land reclamation, urban landscaping, and community outreach. These plans were needed for land restoration because Sudbury was a region for mining. The land was highly contaminated and acidic; as a result there was very little vegetation in the area. Through many years of development, the Sudbury area has now become populated with vegetation and improvements in other aspects of their environment. The actions of VETAC may have been beneficial, but has these initiatives improved Sudbury‟s environment? In this project, we will examine the changes in green/vegetation and urban cover of Sudbury; compare its land cover from the 1980s to now and look for any trends or patterns; analyze and compare thermal temperature readings to evaluate effectiveness of initiatives in relation to the heat island effect. And also analyze the effects of mining on lake water pollution in the 1980s and improvements of pollution in the recent decade. The heat island effect is a phenomenon that occurs in urban areas when there is more urban cover which means more solar radiation is being absorbed and re-emitted as heat resulting with higher thermal temperatures vs. more vegetation which means more solar energy is being used to drive evapotranspiration resulting in lower temperatures. This project will be carried out by processing and classifying remote sensing data to accurately analyze Landsat images from the 1980s and present. From Landsat data, the thermal band can be used to convert digital numbers to temperature readings and used to compare with land covers where patterns can be identified. Classification methods will be used to process the Landsat images so that vegetation, urban, and other land covers can be easily identified and compared. Thermal readings from the 1980s will also be compared to present day thermal readings to see if the heat island phenomenon has affected Sudbury. Lastly, we will evaluate how VETAC has decreased the acidity and pollution of surrounding lake water bodies as well as the effectiveness of their programs. Through research and analysis, it is evident that Sudbury has changed substantially in land cover, land characteristics, and land performance. The VETAC initiatives has restored much of the land available and improved its performance environmentally and for the community. Compared to the 1980s, the land and water is less polluted allowing vegetation to grow quicker and healthier. The data shows that Sudbury has much more vegetation cover and some urban cover with little wasted soil cover. Convert thermal temperatures show how vegetation covers have allowed their temperatures to be lower in comparison to if they had a greater increase in urban land covers, validating the statement of the heat island effect. In the late 1800s, the Sudbury area was largely occupied for mining due to the mineral deposits, especially copper and nickel. In the early 1900s, the construction of the railroad had made mining more feasible in the area. Mining had caused this land area to become polluted, acidic, and impossible for vegetation to grow, as the soils were very poor quality. By the 1970s, mining


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 had stripped off vegetation from over 100,000 hectares in Sudbury. The government did try to plant trees on those areas, but it did not show success until VETAC had improved soil quality first by applying limestone, fertilizers, and grass seeds to the soil annually. VETAC has gradually improved the natural environment of Sudbury and also engaged in a variety of events/contests which promoted awareness and encouraged the community to be involved. Contests include the Ugliest Schoolyard Contest to help schools give their schoolyards a makeover, volunteer Tree planting events, annual tree giveaway to encourage homeowners to reclaim urban space in their backyard, International Day for Biological Diversity, and many more. From this study, the results of the VETAC initiatives would be validated and confirmed, as well information acquired can be used in the future to plan actions more effectively.

2.1 Pre-processing
Data pre-processing for Landsat images was done before analyzing the images for vegetation, thermal, and water quality changes. This was necessary because it ensured that each pixel faithfully records the same type of measurement at the same geographic location over time. Pre-processing is essential for change detection because the detection of change assumes that the spectral properties of no-changed areas are stable, and inadequate pre-processing can increase error by causing false change spectral space (Kennedy et. al, 2009). Additionally, images acquired at different times usually have different amounts of haze and dust in the atmosphere. To overcome these problems atmospheric and radiometric correction using PCI ‟s ATCOR was applied.

2.2 Thermal Change
In order to conduct thorough thermal analysis, the original data needs to be calibrated to temperature values that would have more meaning and can be understood easier compared to digital numbers. Figure 1 below shows the processes for thermal analysis.

Figure 1: Progression of thermal change methodology

Firstly, the digital numbers were converted to radiance manually by applying a formula to the values using band math. There are two ways of doing this depending on the information that is available with the data using the Gain and Bias (or offset) values from the header file (Equation 1), or using the LMIN and LMAX spectral radiance scaling factors (Equation 2). Values were located in the metadata and on the USGS website. Both formulas were used to compare which produced better results. The outcomes generated from both formulas were pretty similar, therefore only one of the outcomes were used for analysis.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 The formula for using the Gain and Bias values is:
CVR1 = gain * DN + bias (1)

Where: CVR1 is the cell value as radiance DN is the cell value digital number (thermal band) gain is the gain value for a specific band bias is the bias value for a specific band The formula for using LMIN and LMAX (2)

CVR1 = ((LMAXλ – LMINλ)/( QCALMAX – QCALMIN)) *(QCAL – QCALMIN) + LMINλ Where: CVR1 is the cell value as radiance QCAL = digital number LMINλ = spectral radiance scales to QCALMIN LMAXλ = spectral radiance scales to QCALMAX QCALMIN = the minimum quantized calibrated pixel value (typically = 1) QCALMAX = the maximum quantized calibrated pixel value (typically = 255) After the values have been converted to radiance, the Planck‟s function was then applied to the values to convert them to Kelvin (Equation 3): T = 1260.56 / alog (((607.76 * 0.95) / B1) +1) Where: T is degrees Kelvin B1 is the radiance values from the previous output After the pixel values were in Kelvin, there is one more step to in converting the values to Celsius. All the values were converted to Celsius by subtracting 273.15 using band math. To ensure values are at utmost accuracy, any difference in temperature during time of image capture was eliminated by subtracting the difference from one of the images, which can help to prevent errors. In order to analyze the output images generated from the calibration, several analysis methods were utilized to do as much comparison and evaluation as possible with the available data. The two output images generated from calibration were compared visually and quantitatively according to their overall thermal signature. In addition, the land surface temperatures of selected areas were also compared to help discover the different effects of various land cover types in respect to their thermal properties. Histograms of thermal values were explored to look for similarities and difference between different land cover types and the two images. (3)


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

2.3 Land-cover Change
Two TM data from Landsat 5, one Table 1: Metadata summary for Thermal & Land-cover Landsat data acquired from May 1984 and other from Metadata Earlier Image Later Image July 2007 were used in this research for Platform Landsat 5 Landsat 5 the investigation of land cover change Sensor TM TM caused by the vegetation reclamation Acquisition Date June 4th, 1984 July 22nd, 2007 efforts by the Region of Sudbury. The Scan Time 15:37:17.7 15:50:30.5 specific scene information about these two Scan Time Temp. 27.1 to 26.7°C 25.3 to 24.8°C Landsat TM images can be found in the Path 19 19 following Table 1. Although it was Row 28 28 difficult to acquire the images for the Scene UL Lat. 46.9974867 46.9924596 -82.2140144 -82.1783906 anniversary dates, however, the images Scene UL Long. 30 metres were from the same season in order to Spatial Resolution 30 metres minimize the impacts of seasonal differences of vegetation. In addition, all Landsat 5 images used in this research were downloaded from USGS website and belonged to USGS. Figure 2 below illustrates the detailed analysis of Sudbury‟s land change detection methods used in this study. All the analyses were carried out using ENVI and ArcGIS. Three change detection techniques including image differencing, principal component analysis, and post classification comparison were used in this research to determine the changes that have occurred in Sudbury during the period of 1984 to 2007. Image differencing and principal component analysis were used for qualitative analysis while post classification comparison method was effective in generating quantitative results. Image differencing was the first change detection method used in this study. In this method the two images from different time periods are subtracted from each other to produce an image that represents the change between the two. The subtraction results in positive and negative values in areas of radiance values and zero values in areas of no change (Jenson, 2005). This method is represented by Equation 4 below: ∆BVijk = BVijk (1) – BVijk (2) + c (4) In Equation 4, BVijk refers to the total change in the pixels after brightness value on date 2, (BVijk(2) is subtracted from brightness value on date 1 (BVijk(1)), and i, j, and k represent line #, column # and TM band respectively. NDVI images from 1984 and 2007 were integrated in the image
Landsat 5 TM Imagery 1. May 1984 2. July 2007

Image PreProcessing: Atmospheric Correction

Remotely Sensed Indices: NDVI

Post-classification Comparison 1. Low Vegetation 2. Dense vegetation 3. Built up Areas 4. Water

Red Band Super Imposition 1984 Image 2007 Image

Change Map

Image Differencing NDVI 1984 NDVI 2007

Maximum Likelihood Classification (MLC) Principal Component 1

Principal Component Computation

Image Differencing Change Map

Post Classification Comparison Matrix

Principal Component 2

Principal Component 3

PCA Change Map

Figure 2: Progression of land-cover change methodology


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 differencing approach for discriminating between vegetative and non-vegetative areas. Image differencing functionality in ENVI was used to derive the differencing map shown in the results. The differencing map was highly dependent on the threshold value chosen for defining classes. For the purpose of our analysis, 7 classes were chosen, some of which were then merged together. Therefore, the final differencing map represented four major classes. Principal component analysis was the second change detection method used to study land cover change in Sudbury. Generally, there are two ways to apply principal component transformation to detect change (Mahmoodzadeh, 2007). The first method is to transform each image taken at different times into a new PCA image. Then, a band selected from each new image can be compared with each other using other change detection approaches such as image differencing (Mahmoodzadeh, 2007). This second method combined the bands of the images from two different dates into one image, the combined image was then transformed into principal components. For investigative purpose, the first 2 components were chosen for further analysis and density slice was used to generate meaningful classes as shown in the results section. Post Classification comparison which is widely used in studies related to change detection was the last method used in the following study. In this method the images from different dates are classified based on the preferred classes. The two classified images are then compared on pixel by pixel basis and produces change detection matrix. It is an excellent method that produces both qualitative and quantitative results. The classification to the image can be done using supervised or un-supervised classification methods. Four classes – low vegetation, dense vegetation, builtup/barren areas, and water – were used to classify the images. The images were classified using Maximum Likelihood algorithm based on supervised classification. The change detection statistics tool in ENVI was finally used to generate post classification comparison matrix shown in the results section of the report.
Phase One Phase Two Phase Three Phase Four

Water Quality Data

Landsat TM Data

Landsat TM Bands

Landsat TM Band

Same Dates
Landsat TM Data Water Quality Data Water Quality P.’s Trend Line Equation

Apply PreProcessing

Combine Data

Perform Linear Regression

Map Water Quality

Mask Out Land Area

ArcGIS Georeferenced Point Layer

R2 & Trend Line Criteria

Classify by Threshold

Figure 3: Progression of lake water quality methodology


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

2.4 Lake Water Quality
The methodology for the water quality assessment of Sudbury‟s surrounding lakes consisted of four phases: data acquisition and initial processing, preparing the data for regression, performing simple linear regression, and mapping the water quality parameter. These stages are explained in detail below and are represented graphically above in Figure 3. 2.4.1 Data Acquisition & Initial Processing In order to map the distribution of water pollutants using remote sensing ground truthing data was needed to calibrate the instrument. This proved to be problematic since a comparison was desired between early on in Sudbury‟s environmental improvement efforts (between 30-40 years ago) and present day: collecting this data first hand was out of question and therefore the search for secondary data ensued. After much searching Greater Sudbury‟s municipal website was found to list some historical water quality data (per lake, e.g. Ramsey Figure 4: Ramsey Lake water quality in original formatting Lake in Figure 4) and therefore was relied upon for this portion of the project. This published water quality data was most frequent and complete in 1990 and 2004 and thus became the study‟s focussed time period. Once this ground truthing data was acquired the complimenting Landsat TM data (1990 and 2004 cloudfree anniversary date images in late spring) was obtained from the USGS GLOVIS collection (metadata found in Table 2). Landsat 4 images or newer were considered because of their high spatial resolution (e.g. vs. MODIS), ease of data‟s access (via free online subscription service from GLOVIS), and data continuity Table 2: Metadata summary for Thermal & Land-cover Landsat data throughout the desired study period (Landsat 5 operational from 1984 to today Metadata Earlier Image Later Image – 2011). After pre-processing steps Platform Landsat 5 Landsat 5 (explained earlier) were complete the Sensor TM TM th nd image was spatially-subset to focus on the Acquisition Date June 4 , 1984 July 22 , 2007 surrounding Sudbury area. The final step Scan Time 15:37:17.7 15:50:30.5 in this first phase involved masking out Scan Time Temp. 27.1 to 26.7°C 25.3 to 24.8°C the land area so that only water Path 19 19 reflectance values remained. Row 28 28
Scene UL Lat. Scene UL Long. Spatial Resolution 46.9974867 -82.2140144 30 metres 46.9924596 -82.1783906 30 metres


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 2.4.2 Prepare Data for Regression Once all the required data was acquired and pre-processed the second phase – preparing the data for regression – commenced. The purpose of this phase was the combine the water quality data and the satellite reflectance data together so that linear regression could be performed. First ESRI‟s ArcMap was used to create two point geospatial layers (one for 1990 and the other for 2004) representing where all the in-situ water samples (of Sudbury‟s lakes) were taken: since no specific coordinates accompanied the water quality data (another major limitation; explained further in the conclusion) points were chosen in the middle of their respective lakes (an aim to comply with Sudbury‟s sampling methodology; “usually the deepest part of the lake,” – Greater Sudbury, 2011). The water quality data was then added to these geospatial layers‟ attribute tables (e.g. 1990 water quality data added to 1990 attribute-table). The final step in this phase was to utilize ArcMap‟s Extract Multi-Values to Points tool: reflectance values from each individual Landsat band (except TM6) were extracted to its respective geospatial layers‟ attribute table (e.g. 1990 Landsat TM bands 1-5 & 7 to the 1990 attribute-table). This second phase combined and organized the water quality and satellite reflectance data together in a geospatial layer that was ready for phase 3. 2.4.3 Simple Linear Regression The goal of this third phase was to explore predictive relationships between individual Landsat bands and water quality measurements taken in the field (e.g. would TM4 be able to accurately predict the pH of lake water?). With all the necessary data assembled together the geospatial layers‟ attribute-tables (i.e. the shapefile‟s .dbf file) were accessed and manipulated in Exce l. Rsquare values were calculated between each water quality parameter (albeit ones that were consistently measured in both 1990 and 2004) and each TM band (using Excel‟s „=RSQ(list_y, list_x)‟ function). Once calculated R-square values were compared between the 1990 and 2004 data in order to identify a TM band that consistently achieved a high relative R-square value with a given water quality parameter and therefore could potentially have an explanatory relationship (water quality parameter being the independent variable and TM band being the dependent variable). For example, TM3 was found to have the strongest dependent relationship on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) because its R-square values were consistently high (relative to the other TM bands) in both the 1990 and 2004 data. The final step in this phase was to plot and compare the trend lines of these high R-square TM-WQP relationships with the purpose of ensuring their relationships were consistent between the two datasets (i.e. 1990 and 2004) and not in fact random. Only high R-square TM-WQP trend-lines with similar slopes were passed on to phase four. 2.4.4 Map Water Quality Parameter Since the linear trend-line between a TM band and a WQP modelled an approximate relationship between the two variables (i.e. only strong and consistent relationships passed along from phase 3) it could be utilized to map the WQP of interest. To do this the trend-line‟s slope and intercept of strong and consistent TM-WQP relationships were first calculated (using Excel‟s „=SLOPE(list_y, list_x)‟ and „=INTERCEPT(list_y, list_x)‟ functions). Next ArcMap‟s Modelbuilder batch processing tool was used to apply Equation 5 to the entire TM band:


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 (5)

The output of the applied equation was an image depicting the spatial distribution of the WQP‟s concentration across the study area. To make the 1990 and 2004 images comparable both images were reclassified (by altering the image‟s symbology – not permanent) so that consistent bin-thresholds categorized the pixels. Finally, to determine where the WQP concentrations were experiencing change the 1990 output image was subtracted from the 2004 output image with the resulting image also being reclassified for easier analysis. 2.4.5 Accuracy Assessment Once the WQP maps were generated an accuracy assessment was performed to measure the model‟s level of success and consequently the level of confidence in the WQP maps. To do this the values of the generated WQP map were extracted to the geospatial point layer‟s attribute table using ArcMap‟s Extract Value to Point tool (similar to the tool used in phase 2). Next the attribute-table was opened in Excel and the differences between the predicted WQP value (from the generated map) and the original in-situ WQP value were calculated for each point. Finally, descriptive statistics (i.e. the average absolute error and standard deviation) were calculated and provided the level of accuracy desired (lower average absolute error and standard deviation values indicated the model produced a fairly accurate WQP map). 2.4.6 Limitations of this Approach It should be acknowledged that a significant limitation existed and therefore may have affected the integrity of the results: no specific date or location accompanied the water quality data obtained from Sudbury‟s municipal website (just the lake name where the sample was taken and the sample year). Without this key information the selection of supplementing Landsat data and sample location (in the geospatial layer where the reflectance values were extracted) were done subjectively (under the general guidance from Sudbury‟s lake water monitoring guidelines where samples were taken in the late spring and in the deepest part of the lake). Because the satellite and ground truthing data were improperly aligned (spatially and temporally) R-square relationships between both variables were generally poor which ultimately resulted in a lower confidence in the generated WQP maps.

3.1 Thermal Change

Once the original images have been calibrated to Celsius temperature values, certain outputs are compared. Figure 5 shows the two output images generated from the calibration processes. Dark purple values show high temperature values and yellow represents low values. Evidently, the 1984 image displays values of closer range as represented by a majority of red pixels, whereas the 2007 image displays a wider range of values where the centre urban area is more defined and


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 values decrease as pixels are further from the centre. The 2007 images shows a larger difference between its centre values compared to the countryside values. Figure 6 below shows the two histograms generated from the two images in Figure 5. These histograms show a more quantitative comparison of the two output images. The y-axis values for the 2007 histogram are slightly higher in order to incorporate the entire histogram within the window. This shows that the 2007 image has more pixel values around the average value whereas the 1984 image have values that distribute more evenly. But on the other hand, the mean for the 1984 image is slightly higher at 19.48 compared to the 2007 mean of 17.15, therefore it means that even though the range in values for the 1984 image is smaller, its mean is still higher than the 2007 image. The 2007 image produces a histogram that is taller vertically, but also wide on the base due to the larger range of values. Figure 7 below displays histograms generated from the same selected areas within each image to compare certain LSTs. Histograms on the top compare Figure 5: Comparison of overall thermal signatures vegetated areas and the ones on the bottom compare urban or barren land areas, histograms on the right are from 1984 image and on the left are from 2007 image. When briefly looking at these histograms, similarities can be identified from the trend of the values line where 2007 histograms show values that concentrate on a few specific values, hence the various peeks in the line plot. The 1984 histograms have values that are more evenly distributed or have more of a trend where the plot increases to the data values with the highest number of pixels then decreases, forming triangular plots. In addition, when looking at the data value with the highest amount of pixels, it shows that the 2007 vegetated histogram has more values that are lower than the 1984 image and for the urban/barren land histogram the 2007 image has more values that are higher than the 1984 image, these trends maybe a result of the changes in land cover properties.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 6: Histograms of output thermal images

Figure 7: Histograms for selected area comparisons


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 Figure 8 shows the selected vegetated areas displayed with colour representation of the temperature values. Brighter colours represent higher values and darker colours represent lower values. As shown in the image below, the vegetated area in the 1984 image has higher values compared to the 2007 image. Certain areas in the 1984 image show extremely different temperature values, in the circled area in the 1984 image many pixels are represented in red show high temperatures at those land covers. The 2007 image has much less areas represented in white or red. Figure 9 shows the selected urban/barren land areas represented in colour displaying the opposite scenario as the vegetated areas. Urban temperatures are higher in the 2007 image represented with brighter pixels. The circled area shows very different temperature values as there are high temperature in the 2007 image and low temperature in the 1984 image, this can be caused if there was a change in land cover.

Figure 8: Coloured image of selected vegetation areas

Figure 9: Coloured image of selected urban/barren land areas


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

3.2 Land-cover Change
During the image differencing process NDVI was first implemented for 1984 and 2007 images. Subsequently, the results generated from NDVI transformation were then used as input for the image differencing function. Figure 10 below represents the two NDVI images from 1984 and 2007.


Figure 10: 1984 and 2007 NDVI comparison

In our study we categorized NDVI values into six classes for evaluation mechanism of green space in Sudbury. Table 3 highlights the change trend in the NDVI values between 1984 and 2007. The categorization of NDVI was done to present an overall representation of change in vegetation between the two years. It is clear from the results that dense vegetation (i.e. 0.5 <) has significantly increased from 1984 to 2007. Additionally, Figure 11 below highlights the changes in area of classes between the two years: it is clear that dense vegetation represented 66% of the total study area in 1984 while in 2007 it significantly increased to 80% of the total study area.
Table 3: Metadata summary for Thermal & Land-cover Landsat data

Density Very low Low Medium High Moderately High Very High

NDVI Value < 0.00 0.1 – 0.2 0.2 – 0.3 0.3 – 0.4 0.4 – 0.5 0.5 <

KM2 1984 38 84 81 133 241 1,114

KM2 2007 148 23 32 52 81 1,385

Figure 11: NDVI density changes - 1984 to 2007


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 Next, the NDVI images were used to derive image differencing output shown in below in Figures 12 & 13. The image differencing output represents 4 classes which include no change, significant change, sparse to dense vegetation, and loss of vegetation. The no change category represents the areas that were same in both 1984 and 2007 images. The significant change category represents the areas that were either barren land or built up areas in 1984 and were modified or converted into vegetative land. Sparse to dense vegetation represents the areas that had thin vegetation in 1984 and overtime became thick and dense vegetative areas. Lastly, loss of vegetation category represents areas that were vegetative land in 1984 but were converted to built-up areas. Additionally, Figure 13 represents the classes and selected scenes from images that correspond to each of the above classes.

Figure 12: Image differencing of 1984 and 2007 NDVI images

Principal component analysis was the second method used to analyze change in the following study. For this method a change map by combining the red bands from 1984 and 2007 image were used to create the map shown in Figure 14. The dark purple colors represent areas of vegetation re-growth while the green spots represent areas where the vegetation has been lost from 1984 to 2007. This change map was then used as input for the principal component algorithm. The principal component produced three images representing three components. However, first two components were used for further analysis as they represented the highest variance of data as represented by Figure 15.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 13: Change categories highlighted in the image differencing output

Figure 14: Change detection by stacking 1984 and 2007 TM3 bands


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 The determining factor for choosing the number of components for analysis relies on the shape of the curve. If the curve shows an elbow, which in this case is between 2 and 3, this is often indicates that higher order principal components contribute a decreasing amount of additional variance and so might not be needed. In Figure 15 there appears to be a marked decrease in downward slope after the second component, therefore, only the first two components were selected to be analyzed as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 15: Eigenvalues of the PCA image

Principal Component 1

Principal Component 2

Figure 16: Change detection principal components 1 and 2

Principal component 1 did not represent any change but depicted areas which were same in both 1984 and 2007 images using white and black colors. However, principal component 2 effectively depicted change between 1984 and 2007 by representing the re-growth areas in white and loss of vegetation in black colour. Next, principal component 2 was used to generate a from-to map (Figures 17 & 18) using density slice. Figure 17 represents the overall change map derived from using principal component 2 and density slice while Figure 18 shows the type of change depicted by each class.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 17: Change detection image produced from PC2

Figure 18: PC2 change categories and examples


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 Post classification was the last method used to analyze land cover change in Sudbury. Supervised land cover classification of each Landsat image was implemented by using Maximum Likelihood Classification, in which four classes were selected including Low vegetation (reclaimed land), dense vegetation, built-up/barren land, and water as shown in Figures 19 & 20 below.

Figure 19: Land-cover classification of 1984 image

Figure 20: Land-cover classification of 2007 image


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 By observing the two images it is clear that in 1984 a large portion of the study area was covered with built-up and barren land while there were few spots representing reclaimed or low vegetation areas. However, in 2007 the topography of the study area has significantly changed. It is evident from Figure 20 that reclaimed areas have considerably increased in 2007 and built-up and barren land has been greatly reduced. The major highlight of the post classification method was that it generated quantitative results. Table 4 below represents the post classification comparison matrix that was generated using the classified images above.
Table 4: Post classification change matrix

Reclaimed Land (m2) Reclaimed Land (m2) Water (m2) Dense Vegetation (m2) Urban/Barren Land (m2) 1984 Class Total (m2) Class Changes 2007 - 1984 20,797,200 1,431,900 11,360,700 4,982,400 38,572,200 17,775,000 270,109,800

Water (m2) 18,480,600 128,499,300 45,152,100 3,358,800 195,490,800 66,991,500 5,826,600

Dense Vegetation (m2) 119,372,400 47,700,900 847,271,700 30,579,300 1,044,924,300 197,652,600 60,346,800

Urban/Barren Land (m2) 150,031,800 23,685,300 201,486,600 115,140,600 490,344,300 375,203,700 -336,283,200

2007 Class Total (m2) 308,682,000 201,317,400 1,105,271,100 154,061,100 -

In the table above the 1984 class total row indicates the area (m2) in each initial state class and the 2007 class column indicates the area (m2) in each final state class. The row total column is simply a class-by-class summation of all final state pixels that fell into the selected initial state classes (ENVI help, 2011). The class changes row indicates the total number of Initial State area that has changed classes. Finally, 2007-1984 is simply the difference in the total number of equivalently classed area in two images, computed by subtracting the initial state class totals from the final state class totals. The positive values of 2007-1984 indicate that the class size has been increased while a negative value indicates a decrease in the class size. Based on the above explanation, it is evident that the area of reclaimed land has been increased since 1984 along with the area of water and dense vegetation. The built-up and barren land has significantly decreased which justifies our initial claim about Sudbury‟s landscape reclamation program.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011
3.3 Lake Water Quality
Table 5: Linear regression summary

3.3.1 Regression Results Of all the water quality parameters Sudbury measured and provided on their municipal website only five were consistently measured in both 1990 and 2004 (dissolved organic carbon – DOC, sulphate, conductivity, alkalinity, and phosphorus): only these five WQPs were subjected to the methodology. Only when linear regression was complete was it realized that all TM-WQP relationships (i.e. R-square values) were unsatisfactory statistically to perform a predictive model (R-square values range from 0.0 to 1.0 – the higher the value the better the independent variable explains the dependent variable). A summary of the linear regression process performed on all five WQPs are presented in Table 5 to the right. Cells highlighted in yellow were the TM bands chosen to be considered for the predictive model of its respective WQP relationship. For example, TM3 was chosen selected for DOC because it consistently had a high (relative to other TM bands) R-square value (1990_TM3/DOC Rsquare = 0.62 ranked 2nd, and 2004_TM3/DOC R-square = 0.15 ranked 1st; compare with 1990_TM5/DOC R-square = 0.64 ranked 1st, and 2004_TM3/DOC R-square = 0.01 ranked 5th). To ensure that the TM-WQP relationships were not random the 1990 and 2004 trend-lines of these relationships were compared with only TM-WQP relationships being accepted for WQP spatial distribution mapping if their slopes appeard to be similar. As shown in Figure 21 only phosphorus and dissolved organic carbon met this criteria and were passed on to the next phase. Figures 22 & 23 below show the resulting 1990 and 2004 phosphorus distribution maps derived from their respective phosphorus-TM3 models. In these distribution images red indicates areas of high phosphorus concentration (thresholds are subjective and consistent, chosen for easy comparison between the earlier and later images) and green indicates areas of low phosphorus concentration. Figure 26 shows the change in phoshorus concentrations from 1990 to 2004: red indicates a substantial increase in phosphorus concentration while green indicates a substantial decrease in phosphorus concentration. Similarly, Figures 24 & 25 show the resulting 1990 and 2004 DOC distribution maps derived from their respective DOC-TM3 models. Red indicates high DOC concentrations while green indicates low DOC concentrations. Figure 27 shows the change in DOC concentrations from 1990 to 2004: red indicates a substantial increase in DOC while green indicates a substantial decrease in DOC.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 23: June 1990 phosphorus concentration distribution image

Figure 213: June 2004 phosphorus concentration distribution image

Figure 22: TM-WQP trend-lines


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 24: June 1990 DOC concentration distribution image

Figure 25: June 2004 DOC concentration distribution image


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Figure 26: Change in phosphorus concentrations between 1990 and 2004

Figure 27: Change in DOC concentrations between 1990 and 2004


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 3.3.2 Error Analysis Results The error analysis performed on the DOC regression models reported mediocre errors for both the 1990 and 2004 distribution images and significantly worse errors for both the 1990 and 2004 distribution images from the phosphorus regression models. Figure 28 right summarizes these errors – measurements collected in the field versus the predicted value from the corresponding regression model image. If the resulting regression model image perfectly predicted the water sample concentrations that were collected in the field then each data point would be plotted along the line. Figure 29 below summarizes the regression model error analysis: the regression model image with the best accuracy was the 1990 DOC image with an average error of 1.72 while the most inaccurate regression model image produced was the 1990 phosphorus image with an average error of 42.11. The higher the error the less confidence can be placed in the image.

Figure 28: Scatterplots depicting regression model errors


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

4.1 Thermal Change
Through much analysis, it is definitely evident that different land covers have different thermal properties and greatly affect the thermal characteristics of the Greater Sudbury region. VETAC‟s initiatives have changed much of the landscape of Sudbury, allowing their environment to increase in vegetated areas, decrease in barren lands, as well as decrease in pollution (lake water, soil, and air). These actions all have a huge effect on the thermal readings for this area. Studies reveal the effectiveness of increasing vegetation when it comes to decreasing temperature values of an area. The typically high emissivity of healthy vegetation helps reflect much of the radiation from the sun and emits it back into space causing a decrease in temperatures. Urban surfaces on the other hand, absorb high amounts of radiance keeping the heat on the surface of the earth which tends to increase temperatures in the region. 4.1.1 Overall Thermal Signature Comparison of the overall thermal signatures of the two output images visually and quantitatively shows a general decrease in overall temperatures in the 2006 image. As a result of the increase in healthy vegetated land cover in the 2007 image, it would seem logical for the temperature to also decrease in regards to the thermal characteristics of vegetation. Thermal signature of the 2007 image show an increase in temperature values for the centre of the image which is majority urban area, and a decrease in temperatures for the surrounding countryside area. These characteristics show a greater correspondence with characteristics of the urban heat island effect where temperatures are higher in the urban area and lower in the countryside area. There are more higher values in the 2007 image because the increase in urban land cover causes an increase in thermal temperatures. As a result the increase in urban temperatures and decrease in vegetated temperatures, it caused the overall temperature to balance out with a slight decrease compared to 1984 environment. The slight decrease may be a result of the greater increase in vegetated areas compared to a lower increase of urban areas. 4.1.2 Selected LSTs The selected land cover temperatures are a clearer representation of the overall thermal signature comparison. It shows the same characteristics but at a more specific level. The same vegetated areas have higher values in the 1984 image as there are less pixels which are actually healthy vegetation within that area. Also, vegetation in the 1984 selected area could be less healthy (less moisture) which affects its emissivity and the denseness of the vegetation. A dense forest would have lower temperatures than a grassland area that is not as dense. Since parts of the selected area may have also gone through significant land cover change which would affect the change in thermal values. Selected urban areas show a inverted scenario where the 2007 image has higher values due to increase in land cover. In the 1984, much of the selected area could be barren land, therefore it would have a slightly lower thermal value than urban land covers. 4.1.3 Urban Heat Island Effect From overall thermal and selected LST analysis, it shows that the urban heat island effect has increased due to the greater difference in urban and countryside temperatures, but this may not necessarily be a negative scenario. The good thing is that even though the UHI effect is more


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 definite, overall thermal temperatures are on a decrease due to VETAC‟s programs and initiatives. Their land reclamation actions have increased the Greater Sudbury region in terms of visual appeal and physical characteristics of the environment, including decrease in temperatures, reduce in various kinds of pollution, and environment awareness.

4.2 Land-cover Change
The major goal of the following study was to quantify the conversion of barren land into vegetative areas, explore the urban heat island phenomenon by comparing thermal changes in relation to vegetation changes, and finally to observe the change in water quality by monitoring the biological activity and suspended materials. 4.2.1 Land Cover Change Analysis The land-cover change analysis was completed using three change detection techniques which included image differencing, principal component analysis, and post classification comparison. Image differencing and principal component analysis were used to qualitatively observe the change in landscape while post classification was used to derive quantitative information. Image differencing was one of the simplest method used in the project, however, the results were highly dependent on the suitable value of threshold chosen to define different classes. Several threshold class values were applied and finally the threshold value of seven was found appropriate. Out of those seven classes one class represented no change, three classes represented positive change while the other three classes represented negative change. The positive change represented increase in vegetation while the negative change signified loss of vegetation. Some of the original classes were then merged together to represent final four classes, the process of deriving the final classes is shown in Figure 29.

Figure 29: Process used to derive final image differencing change map


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 The major reason for merging classes as shown in figure above was information redundancy. Since +3 class had better separability it was used to demonstrate significant change. Significant change referred to areas that in 1984 were either barren/non-vegetative land or built up areas and due to the reclamation process were changed into vegetative lands. +2 and +1 represented similar information related to the conversion of sparse to dense vegetation. As a result these two classes were merged together to represent second class. 0 represented areas that were similar in both image and therefore, it was kept as a separate class. Finally, the last three classes representing negative values were also showing relatively similar information related to loss of vegetation from 1984 to 2007. Therefore, these three classes were merged together. Loss of vegetation not only represents areas that have changed into built up land but also land that is converted into barren and sparse vegetation fields. Although image differencing provided good visual results it did not provide comparison matrix to show quantitative information about changed areas. Moreover, the results were highly dependent on the threshold value to define different classes. One of the major limitations observed in this method was over representation/estimation of some of the classes. For example, sparse to dense vegetation over represents the area, the class includes areas that in fact have dense vegetation in both images. A problem as such could have been by using more than four classes. However, such minimal problem was ignored for analytical reasons since the major objective was to analyze the areas that were converted from barren and built up areas to vegetative land, for which the results had much better representation. Principal component method on the other hand was simpler than image differencing, and produced far more reliable results in comparison to image differencing. The PCA classes were more definitive and the classes seemed to have good separability. The principal component method produced three images representing three components. From the literature review it was found that component one contains high correlation between significantly unchanged areas and low correlation between the changed areas. The correlation in the image was represented by white and dark black color which signified similar areas present in both images. The second component on the other hand contains high correlation between the changed areas; in the images white areas represented growth in vegetation while the dark spots represented loss of vegetation. Since we were interested in areas of change, the second component was used for further analysis. Density slice in ENVI was used to represent classes as shown in figure 9 and 10. Density slice originally classified the image into eight classes, however, some classes represented few pixels and therefore were merged to get final four classes. The use of density slice could have been enhanced if the pixel values for the classes of interest were known; density slice required minimum and maximum pixel value for each class. Although this method could have produced more accurate results, however, for the purpose of this study the automatically generated classes were sufficient. In comparison to image differencing method, principal component classes had better seperability. Although no quantitative methods were used to measure separability it was however clear through visual inspection that PCA classes had better results. For example, sparse to dense vegetation class was over represented in image differencing; however, the same class was defined as areas of no change in PCA method. When the areas were examined in both images, it


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 was clear that PCA was presenting accurate information than image differencing. The difference in the results generated by two methods could also be the fact that image differencing was using NDVI values to classify the image while the PCA derived its results based on the component and original pixel values. The results however, fulfilled our objective and therefore no further analysis of negligible anomalies was carried out. The post classification comparison was the last change detection method used in the present study. Whereas image differencing and principal component analysis were used for visual analysis, post classification was used to derive quantitative information. As described in the results, the images were divided into four classes, image could have been divided into more classes, however, not having access to reference data or high resolution imagery it was difficult to distinguish between different land types. Therefore, the images were generalized into four major classes. The major advantage of this method was it not only provided comparison matrix (Table 4) but also represented change through classified images as shown in Figure 19 & 20. In Figure 19 the barren/built-up areas cover significant portion of the study area while reclaimed land represent marginally small area. However in Figure 20 which represents the classes in 2007, the change is evident as the built up/barren area has considerably decreased while the reclaimed land has been increased. Additionally, Table 4 quantitatively represents that change. From Table 4 it is clear that reclaimed land area has increased since 1984 along with the area of water and dense vegetation. The built-up/barren area on the other hand has significantly decreased. These changes justify our initial claim that through VETAC‟s reclamation program, large a reas of Sudbury were converted into vegetative land. The increase in the area of reclaimed land and dense vegetation is logical since it is a direct outcome of the reclamation program. However, the increase in the water area at first was perplex phenomenon, after research it was concluded that such increase is directly related to an increase in vegetation. Since increase in vegetation will also raise the moisture levels, therefore, increase in water area is relatively logical. The major weakness of this method is that accuracy of the results depended on the accuracy of classification. Since the image used had rather coarse resolution through which it was difficult to distinguish between different pixels, it is likely that some pixels might have been classified into a wrong class. A better perspective could have been developed by using the accuracy assessment techniques. However, no such methods were used in this study as for our objectives the information and results derived were satisfactory without accuracy assessment.

4.3 Lake Water Quality
4.3.1 Phosphorus Change When analyzing the change in phosphorus concentrations between the 1990 and 2004 image the majority of lakes surrounding Sudbury‟s urban core experienced a substantial increase (refer to


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011 Figure 26) with the exception of Kelly Lake which experienced a substantial decrease in phosphorus concentration. The reason for this increased concentration could be attributed to the fact that VETAC‟s land reclamation program annually spreads large volumes of fertilizer onto the barren land (up to 400kg per hectare) – after the soil has been neutralized with lime – along with seed in order to encourage vegetation growth (Greater Sudbury, 2011). Some of this fertilizer would be carried by spring rains into nearby lakes and underlying aquifers: since in 2004 Sudbury‟s land had been fertilized for more than 30 years it is reasonable these extra years of fertilizer may be showing in the regression image. An increase of phosphorus in the water supply would also promote biological activity among aquatic plants and could possibly help explain the increase in dissolved organic carbon (explained later). 4.3.2 Dissolved Organic Carbon Change When analyzing the change in dissolved organic carbon concentrations between the 1990 and 2004 image, like phosphorus, the majority of lakes surrounding Sudbury‟s urban core experienced a moderate-to-substantial increase (refer to Figure 27) with the exception again being Kelly Lake which experienced a substantial decrease in DOC concentration. Defined by the United States Environmental Monitoring & Assessment Program as organic material from plants and animals broken down and dissolved in water, the increasing concentration of DOC in Sudbury‟s lakes should indicate that aquatic vegetation is returning. Years of resource extraction and smelter emissions poisoned nearly 17,000 nearby lakes and streams by lowering their pH and killing most aquatic life (Caterpillar, 2008). The height-expansion of the smelter stacks in the area and the establishment of the environmental monitoring group VETAC have caused a substantial decrease in the acidity of surface waters and water quality is reported to be improving (Keller et al., 1986). The regression model image for DOC supports this literature in that the concentration of this dissolved organic matter increased from the 1990 image to the 2004 image: higher amounts of DOC indicates more productive water since organic matter must live before it can die and break down. 4.3.3 Error Analysis Considerations It should be acknowledged that these results should be taken with a grain of salt and quantitative analysis using these output regression images (such as total change or average concentration) should be avoided. Since the average error in three of the four output images was considered to be substantial the confidence in their values is low. The attempt to map the spatial distribution and concentrations of these water quality parameters was still warranted, however, since the observed relationship between the in-field measurements and the satellite sensor values remained consistent between the 1990 and 2004 data (see Figure 22). Though not precise the 1990 DOC regression image did produce a satisfactory average error of 1.72 and therefore, according to the statistics, can demand a higher confidence in the accuracy of its output pixel values. It is also apparent that the regression-model image error directly related to the original R-square value of the TM-WQP relationship: 1990-DOC had the highest R-square value of 0.62 and produced the lowest average error. In order to achieve the most accurate results spatial coordinates and precise time of field-water quality sampling should be coordinated with the overpassing sensor. Hyperspectral analysis may also increase the accuracy of the results given its ability to isolate the electromagnetic spectrum into narrower bands.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

Through much analysis, this study revealed informative results which were both interesting and predicted. The three areas within the study: land-cover change; thermal analysis; and water quality analysis, provided a positive confirmation of VETAC‟s environmental restoration and improvement initiatives. Significant changes have occurred within the last 23 years in the Sudbury area, allowing this study to generate quantitative data about Sudbury‟s environmental conditions in the past and present. Land-cover analysis was performed with change detection methods, as well as image differencing, principal component analysis and post classification analysis. Visual land-cover change was identified by image differencing and principal component analysis. Visual analysis identified increase in restored land and dense vegetation in the 2007 image, in addition to decrease in built-up and barren land. A quantitative comparison matrix was created by the post classification method, supporting the visual analysis. Thermal analysis revealed results in relation to the land-cover analysis. Outcomes show a decrease in temperatures in the 2007 image due to the increase in dense vegetation and decrease in built-up and barren land-covers. On the other hand, 2007 image displays a closer relationship to the urban heat island phenomenon, as high temperatures are present in the Sudbury city core and lower temperatures at countryside areas. Comparisons also show the effect of having healthy dense vegetation in regards to controlling land surface temperatures. In the water quality analysis, outcomes were generated from acquiring historical in-situ water quality data that corresponded with Landsat image capture dates, extracting reflectance values from Landsat image, and by using linear regression models to study relationships between extracted reflectance and historical in-situ data. Results indicated increase in phosphorus and DOC levels in lakes around Sudbury except for Lake Kelly. Increase in phosphorus levels maybe due fertilizing efforts conducted by VETAC to improve vegetation growth. And DOC levels could be a result of increase organic matter due to improved water quality. Error analysis shows that DOC distribution maps are slightly more precise than phosphorus distribution maps. To improve the accuracy of this study, more images could be analysis in addition to the 1984 and 2007 Landsat 5 TM images. Also, other sources of data could also be explored, e.g. MODIS, ASTER, AVHRR, etc. For water quality analysis, results would be more accurate if dates and coordinates of sample locations were available to use in creating the distribution maps. Lastly, if the images used in analysis were captured from dates with closer temperatures and conditions then results may also be more accurate. Results of this study would be useful for VETAC and City of Greater Sudbury for organizing environmental programs and other initiatives. This information provides authorities with data about Sudbury‟s current environmental conditions and ideas of other improvements that maybe required. Generated outcomes could also be helpful to other regions that wish to improve their environment.


Monitoring the Environmental Changes of Sudbury, ON, from 1984 to 2007 W2011

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