Vegetation Changes in Alberta Oil Sands, Canada, Based on Remotely Sensed Data from 1995 to 2020


  • Jixin He

    College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

  • Debo Chen

    College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

  • Ye Zhan

    Aviation University Air Force, Changchun, Jilin, China

  • Chao Liu

    College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

  • Ruichen Liu

    College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China

Received: 20 March 2022 | Revised: 2 June 2022 | Accepted: 8 June 2022 | Published Online: 16 June 2022


There are rich oil and gas resources in Alberta oil sand mining area in Canada. In the 1960s, the Canadian government decided to increase the mining intensity. However, the exploitation will bring many adverse effects. In recent years, more people pay attention to the environmental protection and ecological restoration of mining areas, such as issues related to changes in vegetated lands. Thus, the authors used the Landsat-5 TM and Landsat-8 OLI remote sensing images as the basic data sources, and obtained the land cover classification maps from 1995 to 2020 by ENVI. Based on the NDVI, NDMI and RVI, three images in each period are processed and output to explore the long-term impact of exploitation. The results show that from 1995 to 2020, the proportion of vegetation around mining areas decreased sharply, the scale of construction land in the mining area increased, and the vegetated land was changed to land types such as tailings ponds, oil sand mines and other land types. In addition, three vegetation indexes decreased from 1995 to 2020. Although the exploitation of oil sand mining areas brings great economic benefits, the environmental protection (especially vegetation) in oil sand mining areas should be paid more attention.


Alberta, Oil sands, Vegetation changes, Remote sensing, Landsat


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How to Cite

He, J., Chen, D., Zhan, Y., Liu, C., & Liu, R. (2022). Vegetation Changes in Alberta Oil Sands, Canada, Based on Remotely Sensed Data from 1995 to 2020. Journal of Environmental & Earth Sciences, 4(2), 17–32.





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