Title: Assessment of cropland area on sloping land in DPRK
Citation: IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science 17 (2014) (http://iopscience.iop.org/1755-1315/17/1)
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC84182
ISSN: 1755-1315
URI: http://iopscience.iop.org/1755-1315/17/1/012043/pdf/1755-1315_17_1_012043.pdf
DOI: 10.1088/1755-1315/17/1/012043
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Following the famines of the mid 1990s, the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) authorized cultivation on sloping land before deciding, in the years 2000, to limit this practice on slopes above 15 degrees in order to reduce erosion. There are still many cultivated fields on slopes and their total estimated area ranges from 300,000 ha to more than 2 million ha. This study aims at assessing cropland areas on slopes above 10 and 15 degrees by using high to very high resolution remote sensing satellite imagery. For this purpose, a grid of points was superimposed over the DPRK territory and stratified according to slope, as derived from two DEMs, the 30 m ASTER GDEM V2 and the 3 arc second (~90 m) SRTM Dem V4. A sample of about 2100 points was drawn using an optimal allocation sampling plan, based on a preliminary assessment of the variance of the estimated cropland percentage per class of slope. These 2100 points were interpreted into cropland, no cropland and doubt using mostly Google Earth imagery acquired after 2004. For slopes above 10 degrees, the area cropped was estimated to be around 1,000,000 ha (5.6% CV) and 742,000 ha (8.1% CV) according to the ASTER and SRTM DEM respectively. Above 15 degrees, the estimated cropland area ranges from 360,000 ha (9.7% CV) with SRTM to 540,000 ha (6.6.% CV) with ASTER. To decide between these two estimations, a validation of the two DEMs should be carried out on a region with similar relief. Alternatively, a higher accuracy DEM such as the one to be derived from the TanDEM-X mission in 2014 should provide more accurate estimates of the cropland area on sloping land.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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