Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Geography (Cartography and GIS Option)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Anna E. Klene

Commitee Members

Dr. David Shively, Dr. Brady Allred, Dr. Samuel Cushman


Landsat, Arctic, Fragmentation, Siberia, Google Earth Engine


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Remote Sensing


Climatic warming of the Arctic is leading to landscape change through cascading biophysical feedbacks; development, such as oil and gas exploration and extraction, can accelerate or worsen these impacts. Due to restricted access to oil and natural gas fields, in situ environmental impact studies are only allowed in some regions. Satellite imagery analysis provides a mean for assessing impacts in areas with limited access. The Yamburg oil and gas field in western Siberia serves as a case study to assess the effects of infrastructure on an Arctic landscape.

This project quantifies the land-cover disturbance that occurred during the development and expansion of the Yamburg field. Google’s recently developed, cloud-based image processing platform, Google Earth Engine, was used in conjunction with traditional Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis to detect, map, and quantify the impacts of infrastructure on the Tazovsky Peninsula between 1983 and 2016, utilizing imagery from the Landsat 4, 5, and 8 satellites. Landscape fragmentation metrics, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and change analysis quantified the impacts of extraction infrastructure on the surrounding landscape. As distance from the infrastructure and time since field establishment increased, the associated impacts decreased.



© Copyright 2017 Nicholas B. Kline