|Résumé: ||Rapid urban growth and unprecedented rural to urban transition, along with a huge population growth are new phenomena for both high and low income countries, which started in the mid-20th century. However, urban growth rates and patterns are different in developed countries and developing ones. In less developed countries, urbanization and rural to urban transition usually takes place in an unmanaged way and they are associated with a series of socioeconomical and environmental issues and problems. Identification of the city growth trends in past decades can help urban planners and managers to minimize these negative impacts. In this research, urban growth in the city of Isfahan, Iran, is the subject of study. Isfahan the third largest city in Iran has experienced a huge urban growth and population boom during the last three decades. This transition led to the destruction of natural and agricultural lands and environmental pollutions.
Historical and recent remotely sensed data, along with different remote sensing techniques and methods have been used by researchers for urban land use and land cover change detection. In this study three Landsat TM and ETM+ images of the study site, acquired in 1985, 2000 and 2009 are used. Before starting processing, radiometric normalization is done to minimize the atmospheric effects. Then, processing methods including principal component analysis (PCA), vegetation indices and supervised classification are implemented on the images. Accuracy assessment of the PCA method showed that the first PC was responsible for more than 81% of the total variance, and therefore used for analysis of PCA differencing. ΔPC1t1-t2 shows the amount of changes in land use and land cover during the period of study. In this study ten vegetation indices were selected to be applied to the 1985 image. Accuracy assessments showed that Transformed Differencing Vegetation Index (TDVI) is the most sensitive and accurate index for mapping vegetation in arid and semi-arid urban areas. Hence, TDVI was applied to the 2000 and 2009 images. ΔTDVIt1-t2 showed the changes in land use and land cover especially the land use transformation from vegetation cover into the urban class. Supervised classification is the last method applied to the images. Training sites were assigned for the selected classes and accuracy was monitored during the process of training site selection. The results of classification show the expansion of urban class and diminishment in natural and agricultural lands.|