Located in the west coast of Taiwan, Yunlin County is considered as one of the most industrialized counties. The impact of land use on the coastal zone is significantly high. The main objective of this study is to analyze the impact of coastal land use changes in Yunlin County between 1996 and 2011 on shoreline dynamics. Two sets of satellite images (SPOT and FORMOSAT-2) are used as major data sources, and all analyses are performed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques. Land use classification includes seven types. Their area changes and correlations with shoreline area changes are calculated. Results indicate that between 1996 and 2011, the Yunlin coastal zone has experienced substantial land use changes, with dramatic increase of industrial and residential area along with significant loss of sandy coast. For the last sixteen years, Yunlin shoreline has undergone both erosion and accretion position changes. However, accretion is more prominent and common in many places. The net shoreline change observed is an accretion area of 1.65 km2
. Results also further reveal that area changes of agriculture, residential, abandoned and aquaculture lands have caused a negative impact on the shoreline, moving it landward. However, area changes of industrial land and the sandy coast have exerted a positive impact (shifting the shoreline towards the sea). This positive impact is mainly due to land reclamation projects and destruction of natural coasts. As such, this is not favorable for natural coastal environments. This study also clearly indicates that, human induced coastal land use changes do exist in Yunlin. These changes may have created long-term shoreline position shifts and significant impact on its coastal environment.
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