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Human settlement expansion is one of the most pervasive forms of land-cover change in South Africa. The use of Page's cumulative sum (CUSUM) test is proposed as a method to detect new settlement developments in areas that were previously covered by natural vegetation using 500-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer time-series satellite data. The method is a sequential per-pixel change alarm algorithm that can take into account positive detection delay, probability of detection, and false-alarm probability to construct a threshold. Simulated change data were generated to determine a threshold during a preliminary offline optimization phase. After optimization, the method was evaluated on examples of known land-cover change in the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces of South Africa. The experimental results indicated that CUSUM performs better than band differencing in the before-mentioned study areas.
Date of Publication: March 2013