Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Environment and Society

Department name when degree awarded

Geography and Earth Resources

Committee Chair(s)

R. Douglas Ramsey


R. Douglas Ramsey


Detecting changes in land cover through time using remotely sensed imagery is a powerful application that has seen increased use as imagery has become more widely available and inexpensive. Before a time series of remotely sensed imagery can be used for change detection, images must first be standardized for effects outside of real surface change. This thesis established a validation protocol to evaluate the effectiveness of an automated technique for normalizing temporally separate but spatially coincident imagery. Using the concept of pseudo-invariant features between master-slave image pairs, spatially coincident dark and bright points are identified from images and a regression equation is calculated to normalize slave images to a master. I used two sets of imagery to test the performance of the standardization process, a spatially coincident, but temporally variable time series, and spatially and temporally variable images. I tested the underlying statistical assumptions of this approach, and performed simple image subtraction to validate the reduction of master-slave differences using invariant locations. In addition I tested the possibility of reducing between-sensor differences by applying simple linear regression to comparable bands of MSS and TM sensors.

Image subtraction showed decreases in master-slave differences as a result of the standardization process, and the process behaved appropriately when there should be no difference between master and slave images (adjacent, but temporally identical imagery). I also found that comparable bands between MSS and TM sensors are similar enough that linear regression may not significantly reduce between-sensor differences.