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 Home | Tampa Bay Study | Data | Task 1: Mapping - Imperviousness
This page is archived and is no longer being maintained. Content was last updated in 2015. For current research, visit http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/.
Urban development has expanded rapidly in the Tampa Bay area of west-central Florida over the past century. A major effect associated with this population trend is the transformation of the landscape from natural cover types to impervious urban land. This research utilizes an innovative approach for mapping urban extent and its changes through determining impervious surfaces from Landsat satellite remote sensing data. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed the satellite data for four time periods (1991, 1995, 2000, and 2002) to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of urban growth in the Tampa Bay watershed.

Results of this study also show that the impervious surface area increased approximately three-fold from 19912002. By 2002, areas with imperviousness greater than 10% accounted for approximately 1800 km, or 27% of the total watershed area. In the map images below, note the increase in yellow/orange/red pixels (areas with greater than 50% imperviousness), as well as the increase in the extent of urbanized area.

The resulting imperviousness data were used with a defined suite of geospatial data sets to simulate historical urban development and predict future urban and suburban extent, density, and growth patterns using SLEUTH modeling. The increasingly important influence that urbanization and its associated imperviousness extent have on the individual drainage basins of the Tampa Bay watershed was also examined. Scientists and managers utilize these conclusions to aid in sustainable urban planning, examine urban growth against other environmental parameters such as water quality or wildlife studies, or as influencial parameters in hydrologic modeling.

Links to Tampa Bay imperviousness data:

Percent imperviousness for the Tampa Bay watershed: 1991 - 1995 - 2000 - 2002 (Metadata)

These data sets are in ArcGIS Shapefile format. To view these files, you must have ESRI ArcGIS Software or other GIS software. A freely available lightweight version of ESRI's software is ArcGIS Explorer.

Impervious surface area of Tampa Bay Area: 1991 - 2006
Select a map to open an enlargement.

Related Links:

Refereed Publications:

Xian, G. and M. Crane. 2005. Assessments of urban growth in the Tampa Bay watershed using remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of the Environment 97: 203-215.

Xian, G., and M. Crane. 2006. An analysis of urban thermal characteristics and associated land cover in Tampa bay and Las Vegas using satellite data. Remote Sensing of Environment 104: 147-156.

Xian, G., M. Crane, and D. Steinwand. 2005. Dynamic modeling of Tampa Bay urban development using parallel computing, Computers & Geosciences 31: 920-928.

Crane, M., and G. Xian. 2006. Urban growth and seagrass distribution trends in Tampa Bay, Florida. In Rates, Trends, Causes, and Consequences of Urban Land-Use Change in the United States, USGS Professional Paper 1726: 185-188.

Xian, G. and M. Crane. 2006. An analysis of urban development and its environmental impact on the Tampa Bay watershed. Journal of Environmental Management.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science
URL of this page is: http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/tampabay/data/1_imperviousness/index.html
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