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The Puget Sound watershed is a mosaic of land cover types that changes over time as we develop, convert, or restore areas of the landscape

What will the Puget Sound landscape look like in 30 or 50 years?

The Land Cover Change Model uses statistical modeling to derive past land cover trends and project them forward to provide a glimpse into what our future may look like.

This lightweight and flexible model allows for the testing of different development scenarios to examine the resulting landscape. Additional models are then used to evaluate the subsequent impact of that new landscape on the ecosystem.

Actual land cover in 2001 (left) compared to 2019 (right) for the region surrounding the city of Tacoma, Washington.
Yearly probability of a transition from one type of land cover to another. These probabilities were derived from past trends and are applied to future changes in the Land Cover Change Model.

The Land Cover Change Model uses historical data to analyze past trends and forecast future land cover transitions. Those trends, coupled with a regression-based algorithm, allow the model to spatially funnel land cover transitions into the appropriate locations and leverages the power of Monte Carlo simulation to provide a probabilistic representation of Puget Sound’s future landscape.

Learn more about how this model works here.

This model is part of the Puget Sound Integrated Modeling Framework project. Want to head back to the main PSIMF page?