Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Li Yang


GIS, remote sensing, LU/LC, China, agriculture

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


According to McGee and Ginsburg’s desakota hypothesis, rapidly growing Asian cities differ from large Western cities in their land cover/land use (LC/LU) as they retain a significant portion of agricultural land and labor despite rapid urbanization. However, significant amounts of agricultural production within desakotas takes place in plastic greenhouses, causing a unique problem when calculating LC/LU estimates via traditional remote sensing techniques. While greenhouses appear equivalent to developed land spectrally, their purpose is entirely agricultural. This study provides an improved method of calculating greenhouse land-cover as agricultural land-use using Jiangning District in the city of Nanjing as the study area of the desakota hypothesis. Satellite images from Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Landsats 4 and 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) of Nanjing at 30-meter pixel resolution are analyzed for the years 2000, 2010, and 2015, and also incorporating an additional 2-meter pixel resolution image from WorldView-2 for 2015. Additional archival data, ground truthing and training points were collected on-site in Nanjing in May 2018. Synthesizing high- and medium-resolution images into per-pixel and object-based classification techniques achieved a marginal increase in greenhouse areas incorporated into estimates of arable land.

Included in

Geography Commons