MapBiomas Papers

Learn more about the scientific articles prepared by the MapBiomas team related to land cover and land use mapping in Brazil.

Two decades of land cover mapping in the Río de la Plata grassland region: The MapBiomas Pampa initiative

In this work we described and analyzed the land cover changes in the entire Río de la Plata Grasslands (RPG) region for the first two decades of the 21st century, especially those related to grasslands loss. The map series was evaluated for the years 2001 and 2018 using a completely independent dataset, selected by stratified randomized sampling. In 20 years, RPG region lost, at least, 2.4 million ha of grassland (9% of the remaining grassland area in 2001). Most of these losses are concentrated in Brazil and Uruguay and are associated with new agricultural or forestry areas that increased by 5% and 100%, respectively. Our maps allow a comprehensive understanding of the transformation processes that RPG are undergoing and provide the context on which to explore a large set of hypotheses related to ecosystem structure and functioning. It will also contribute to improving decision-making at both the regional and national levels.

Alencar et al. Long-Term Landsat-Based Monthly Burned Area Dataset for the Brazilian Biomes Using Deep Learning

The paper presents a new strategy using machine learning to map monthly burned areas from 1985 to 2020 using Landsat image mosaics and minimum NBR values. This new dataset contributes to the understanding of the long-term spatial and temporal dynamics of fire regimes that are fundamental to design appropriate public policies to reduce and control fires in Brazil.

Cayo et al. Mapping Three Decades of Changes in the Tropical Andean Glaciers Using Landsat Data Processed in the Earth Engine.

This paper presents the mapping and retreat dynamics of tropical Andean glaciers (TAGs) from the use of Landsat time series images from 1985 to 2020, with digital processing and classification of the satellite images on the Google Earth Engine platform.

Coelho-Junior et al - Unmasking the impunity of illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: a call for enforcement and accountability

This article provides a perspective on the dynamics of deforestation alerts, validated and refined by MapBiomas Alert (, in the Brazilian Amazon and the actions of federal and state public enforcement agencies highlighting the urgency to reduce and combat deforestation.

Santos et al - Assessing the Wall-to-Wall Spatial and Qualitative Dynamics of the Brazilian Pasturelands 2010–2018, Based on the Analysis of the Landsat Data Archive

In this study, the spatio-temporal dynamics of pasture quality in Brazil between 2010 and 2018 were mapped and evaluated, considering three degradation classes: Absent (D0), Intermediate (D1) and Severe (D2). There was no variation in the total area occupied by pastures in the evaluated period, despite the accentuated spatial dynamics.