The relationship between forest clearing, biophysical factors (e.g, ecological zones, slope gradient, soils), and transportation network in Costa Rica was analyzed. The location of forested areas at four reference datas (1940, 1950, 1961, and 1977) as derived from aerial photography and LANDSAT MSS data was digitilized and entered into a geographically-referenced data base. Ecological zones as protrayed by the Holdridge Life Zone Ecology System, and the location of roads and railways were also digitized from maps of the entire country as input to the data base. Information on slope gradient and soils was digitized from maps of a 21,000 square kilometer area. The total area of forest cleared over four decades are related to biophysical factors was analyzed within the data base and deforestation rates and trends were tabulated. The relatiohship between forest clearing and ecological zone and the influence of topography, sils, and transportation network are presented and discussed.
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING