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Impact Assessment of Oil Exploitation in South Sudan using Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery

Release date: 2016-12

This scientific report examines the spatial impacts of oil exploitation in Melut County, South Sudan, at six points in the time span between 1999 and 2011, based on Landsat satellite data. Three features were analysed: cropland, oil well pads and roads. Feature extraction consisted of pixel- and object-based classification approaches as well as on-screen digitization. Land cover classification was performed as a base for further object-based classification of cropland areas and oil well pads. Spatial analysis of the relationship between the detected features was performed. Apart from a sharp decline in cropland areas between 1999 and 2002, croplands increased steadily over time and more than doubled in size. Oil infrastructure grew enormously in size throughout the whole time series from a single pad in 1999 to 555 pads in 2011. The example exhibited the potential of Earth observation as a tool to support the field of peace and conflict research (Mager 2013).

Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung - Geoinformation, Vol. 2016(4), 211-223.