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Using the fractal dimension to differentiate between natural and artificial wetlands
by Julie Earls, Barnali Dixon, Al Karlin
Interdisciplinary Environmental Review (IER), Vol. 10, No. 1/2, 2008


Abstract: Artificial wetlands are characterized by straight lines and simple perimeters such as circles or squares, whereas natural wetlands show far more complex shapes. Fractal dimension analysis provides a quantitative measure of the curves for the edge of an object. This study uses fractal theory to analyze the characteristic of an object's shape to differentiate natural wetlands from artificial wetlands. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine how the shape complexity metrics varies between raster and vector formats and 2) if there is a quantifiable difference between patch metrics of the fractal dimension of natural vs. man-made wetlands.

Online publication date: Mon, 13-May-2013


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