Visualization of deforestation in the paraguayan chaco using google earth engine

Maria Leticia Cardozo, Shou Hao Chiang

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Forests act as a reservoir of biodiversity, shelter to wildlife and carbon sinks, and mitigates climate change. Despite their importance, they have been threatened by human activities such as unsustainable logging, agricultural expansion, cattle ranching, fuel wood collection and others, which are the main drivers of deforestation. The objective of this study is to visualize and describe the deforestation process of the Chaco, in Paraguay, South America, by means of remote sensing analysis through the cloud-based Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. The study area is part of the second largest forest area in South America, it has a great biodiversity, with two marked Eco-region in it, the Dry Chaco and the Wet Chaco. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2017, the Paraguayan Chaco has experienced a lot of land use changes and deforestation. Landsat images from the whole year of 2013 and 2017 were collected, and since the study area is covered by multiple Landsat's scenes and the process of image collecting and preprocessing would take a lot of time and storage, the usefulness of GEE to reduce the task is remarkable and will be introduced. In GEE, the integrated development environment (IDE) for the rapid creation of prototypes using JavaScript API is able to define the study area, preprocess the images, including the elimination of cloud pixels of the scenes, composite and evaluate the changes of study area. Following the above functionalities embedded in GEE, the visualization and interpretation of the deforestation in the Paraguayan Chaco were performed. The results show that deforestation in the study area increase from the year of 2013 to 2017, and is clearly visualized and interpreted with rectangular geometric features of forest clearance. This study suggests that GEE is an effective tool for rapid image processing and land monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2018
Event39th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing Enabling Prosperity, ACRS 2018 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Duration: 15 Oct 201819 Oct 2018


Conference39th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing: Remote Sensing Enabling Prosperity, ACRS 2018
CityKuala Lumpur


  • Forest clearance
  • Landsat
  • Paraguay


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