Tidal flat; Landsat-TM image; ISODATA; sea dike; topographic map.
The main objective of this study was to estimate changes in the area of tidal flats that occurred after sea dike construction on the western coast of South Korea using Landsat-TM images. Applying the ISODATA method of unsupervised classification for Landsat-TM images, the tidal flats were identified, and the resulting areas were quantified for each image. The area of tidal flats from a topographic map published in one year differs significantly from that shown in another, which appears to be attributable to the tide levels at the time of aerial photography. During the study period, the area of tidal flats, as estimated from Landsat-TM images, increased by 4.57 km2 per year in the study areas. The tidal flats in the inner sea of Chunsu Harbor area increased by 200m2 per zone, while the accumulation for a number of inner sea areas within Asan Harbor area occurred at over 50m2 per zone. The results of this research may serve as the basis of an environmentallyfriendly development plan for tidal flats.