Document Type


Date of Original Version



Natural Resources Science


Wetlands provide various ecosystem services to urban areas, which are crucial for sustainable urban management. With intensified urbanization, there has been marked loss of urban natural wetland, degradation, and related urban disasters in the past several decades. Rapid and accurate mapping of urban wetland extent and change is thus critical for improving urban planning toward sustainability. Here, we have developed a rapid method for continuous mapping of urban wetlands (MUW) by combining automatic sample migration and the random forest algorithm (SM&RF), the so-called MUW_SM&RF. Using time series Landsat images, annual training samples were generated through spectral angular distance (SAD) and time series analysis. Combined with the RF algorithm, annual wetland maps in urban areas were derived. Employing the Google Earth Engine platform (GEE), the MUW_SM&RF was evaluated in four metropolitan areas in different geographical and climatic regions of China from 1990 to 2020, including Tianjin, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, and Wuhan. In all four study areas, the generated annual wetland maps had an overall accuracy of over 87% and a Kappa coefficient above 0.815. Compared with previously published datasets, the urban wetland areas derived using the MUW_SM&RF approach achieved improved accuracy and thus demonstrated its robustness for rapid mapping of urban wetlands. Urban wetlands in all four cities had variable distribution patterns and showed significantly decreased trends in the past three decades. The annual urban wetland data product generated by the MUW_SM&RF can provide invaluable information for sustainable urban planning and management, so as for assessment related to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Remote Sensing





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.