Survival analysis of a neotropical rainforest using multitemporal satellite imagery

Jonathan Asher Greenberg, Shawn C. Kefauver, Hugh C. Stimson, Corey J. Yeaton, Susan L. Ustin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present results of an analysis of deforestation at a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Parque National Yasuní, located in the rainforests of eastern Ecuador using multitemporal Landsat TM and ETM+ satellite imagery. Using survival analysis, we assessed both current and future trends in deforestation rates, and investigated the impact of spatial, cultural, and economic factors on deforestation. These factors included the distance from roads, rivers, research facilities, oil facilities, markets and towns, and land ownership by colonists, native inhabitants, and an oil company. We found the annual rate of deforestation is currently only 0.11%, but that this rate is increasing with time and, assuming that the trend of increasing rate of forest loss continues, we would predict that by 2063, 50% of the forest within 2 km of an oil access road will be lost to unhindered colonization and anthropogenic conversion. The Quechua colonists are associated with areas of the highest rate of deforestation, followed by the native Huaorani and the lowest region of deforestation was in areas occupied by a local oil company. By far, the strongest predictor of where deforestation is predicted to occur was proximity to the road. Proximity to research sites, oil facilities, market, and rivers significantly decreases deforestation rates, and proximity to towns significantly increases deforestation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-211
Number of pages10
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 30 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Change detection
  • Deforestation
  • Ecuador
  • Multitemporal
  • Neotropical rainforests
  • Parque National Yasuní
  • Remote sensing
  • Roads
  • Survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Geology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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