Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography & Geographic Information Science


Between 1954 and 1980 significant changes took place in southwest Grand Forks. The predominant land use in 1954 was cultivated cropland, which covered 80.5 percent of the total study area. By 1980 cropland had declined to 26.7 percent of the total, with urban land uses such as single family residential, strip development and shopping center making significant increases. As the area became urbanized, problems devel oped. In 1979 the English Coulee unexpectedly flooded, damaging homes and the acute care hospital in the study area. In 1981 developers owed $2.4 million in delinquent special assessments.

In order to describe the land use and land cover changes between 1954 and 1980, a number of tools and methods were utilized. First a classification scheme was developed. Medium and large scale air photos were used to determine land use and land cover for 1954, 1962, 1970, 1974, 1977, 1979, and 1980. The results were transferred to a base map and then digitized for computer mapping. The area measurements gener ated by this research support the trend of increased urban land acreage and decreased cultivated cropland.

The problems of development spring from two chief sources: 1) expected growth which did not materialize, and 2) the English Coulee floodplain within the study area.