The study assessed land use land cover change in Igwuruta in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria within a thirty year (1986 â€“ 2015) period. Land cover and land use (LCLU) analysis of Igwuruta (about 8.69 km2 or 870 hectares), was appraised for the period using remote sensing, GIS and physical soil resources inventory techniques. Primary source satellite imageries were extracted from the maps of the LCLU by the application of computer-based image processing and analysis. A top of the atmosphere reflectance was computed for all the imageries acquired using Dark Object Subtraction (DOS) image-based atmosphere corrections. Four major land cover types: forest, fallow and farmland, bare ground and built-up or residential areas were identified. The most dominant LCLU in the area in 1986 was forest occupying 3.78km2 or 43.52% of the entire space but reduced to 1.92 % (0.174 km2) in 2015. Built up (residential area) occupied 1.82 km2 (20.97 %) in 1986 and increased to 68.02 % (5.91km2) in 2015. Farm land and bare ground also declined steadily within the period. The Greater Port Harcourt City (GPHC) project, an urban expansion programme, was noted for the rapid transition in demography and land use alterations in Igwuruta area within the period under consideration. High level of pedo-turbation and loss of the native topsoil due mainly to increased construction activities that are associated with the urbanization process of the area are accountable for the increasing sand content of the surface soils.
Keywords: land cover, land use, remote sensing, satellite imagery, urbanization