Vegetation Changes in Alberta Oil Sands, Canada, Based on Remotely Sensed Data from 1995 to 2020

Jixin He (College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130061, China)
Debo Chen (College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130061, China)
Ye Zhan (Aviation University Air Force, Changchun, Jilin, 130021, China)
Chao Liu (College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130061, China)
Ruichen Liu (College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, 130061, China)

Article ID: 4687


There are rich oil and gas resources in Alberta oil sand mining area in Canada. Since the 1960s, the Canadian government decided to increase the mining intensity. However, the exploitation will bring many adverse effects. In recent years, more people pay attention to the environmental protection and ecological restoration of mining area, such as issues related with changes of vegetated lands. Thus, the authors used the Landsat-5 TM and Landsat-8 OLI remote sensing images as the basic data sources, and obtained the land cover classification maps from 1995 to 2020 by ENVI. Based on the NDVI, NDMI and RVI, three images in each period are processed and output to explore the long-term impact of exploitation. The results show that from 1995 to 2020, the proportion of vegetation around mining areas decreased sharply, the scale of construction land in the mining area increased, and the vegetated land was changed to land types such as tailings pond, oil sand mine and other land types. In addition, three vegetation indexes decreased from 1995 to 2020. Although the exploitation of oil sand mining area brings great economic benefits, the environmental protection (especially vegetation) in oil sand mining areas should be paid more attention.


Alberta; Oil sands; Vegetation changes; Remote sensing; Landsat

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