The SLEUTH Land Use Change Model: A Review

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Department of Geography and Earth Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

2 Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara


Land use change is driven by interaction in space and time between humans and the environment that can be captured by computer simulation models (Veldkamp and Verburg, 2004). In the last few decades, land use change models have played an important role in understanding the causes, mechanisms and consequences of land use dynamics. SLEUTH is an open source cellular automata based land use change model which was first applied in San Francisco Bay area (California, USA) by Clarke and Gaydos (1997) to simulate the urban growth of the region. Over the last 15 years, SLEUTH has been applied to multiple cities and regions worldwide and has gone through numerous modifications. Clarke et al. (2007) and Clarke (2008a) provided detailed reviews of the model and its application from its initial days until about 2005. This paper provides a review of the literature with special focus on technical modifications of the model since 2005 and updates on the model applications as published until 2012.


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