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Title: Four-century history of land transformation by humans in the United States (1630–2020): annual and 1 km grid data for the HIStory of LAND changes (HISLAND-US)
Abstract. The land of the conterminous United States (CONUS) hasbeen transformed dramatically by humans over the last four centuries throughland clearing, agricultural expansion and intensification, and urban sprawl.High-resolution geospatial data on long-term historical changes in land useand land cover (LULC) across the CONUS are essential for predictiveunderstanding of natural–human interactions and land-based climatesolutions for the United States. A few efforts have reconstructed historicalchanges in cropland and urban extent in the United States since themid-19th century. However, the long-term trajectories of multiple LULCtypes with high spatial and temporal resolutions since the colonial era(early 17th century) in the United States are not available yet. Byintegrating multi-source data, such as high-resolution remote sensingimage-based LULC data, model-based LULC products, and historical censusdata, we reconstructed the history of land use and land cover for theconterminous United States (HISLAND-US) at an annual timescale and 1 km × 1 km spatial resolution in the past 390 years (1630–2020). The results showwidespread expansion of cropland and urban land associated with rapid lossof natural vegetation. Croplands are mainly converted from forest, shrub,and grassland, especially in the Great Plains and North Central regions.Forest planting and regeneration accelerated the forest recovery in theNortheast and Southeast since the 1920s. The geospatial and long-termhistorical LULC data from this study provide critical information forassessing the LULC impacts on regional climate, hydrology, andbiogeochemical cycles as well as achieving sustainable use of land in thenation. The datasets are available at (Li et al., 2022).  more » « less
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Earth System Science Data
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1005 to 1035
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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