ASSESSING LAND COVER CHANGE AROUND BAYOU PEROT-LITTLE LAKE, NEW ORLEANS USING SENTINEL 2 SATELLITE IMAGERY
Keywords: Hurricane Ida, Land Cover Change, Sentinel 2, Coastal Ecosystems, NDVI, Random Forest Classification
Abstract. Global climate change has affected the rate of rising sea level, the frequency, intensity, timing, and distribution of hurricanes and tropical storms which threatens coastal ecosystems such as Bayou Perot, Little Lake in New Orleans along the Gulf of Mexico. The impact of hurricanes could include wetland and coastal land loss. This paper compared the land cover changes around Bayou-Perot- Little Lake, New Orleans, USA following Hurricanes Ida (August 26, 2021 to August 28, 2021). Two high-resolution Sentinel 2 imagery dated before and after Hurricane Ida was compared to assess the impacts of the hurricane on the land cover around Bayou Perot. A Random Forest classification (RF) algorithm in Google Earth Engine was used to produce maps and identify areas that have experienced conversions in land use or land cover change after the hurricane. This method of classification has the advantages of high classification accuracy and the ability to measure variable importance in land-cover mapping. In addition to random classification algorithm, other analysis such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was be used to gain a better perspective of the overall changes in vegetation across the landscape. Five main classes were considered after the classification which included water, vegetation, bare soil, built up and marsh area. The results of the land cover change showed exposed old coastal marsh, valuable dune habitat providing storm protection to estuaries, wetlands, and the coastal population destroyed.