USGS: Science for a Changing World - USGS visual identity mark and link to main Web site at

Land Use on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, 1998

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4301

Prepared in cooperation with the

National Water-Quality Assessment Program

By Frederick L. Klasner and Clinton D. Mikami

Download the accessible pdf file at wri02-4301.pdf 4,695Kb pdf file
Download Acrobat reader for free


A hierarchical land-use classification system for Hawaii was developed, and land use on the island of Oahu was mapped. The land-use classification system emphasizes agriculture, developed (urban), and barren/mining uses. Areas with other land uses (conservation, forest reserve, natural areas, wetlands, water, and barren [sand, rock, or soil] regions, and unmanaged vegetation [native or exotic]) were defined as "other." Multiple sources of digital orthophotographs from 1998 and 1999 were used as source data. The 1998 island of Oahu land-use data are provided in digital format at for use in a Geographic Information System (GIS), at 1:24,000-scale with minimum mapping units of 2 hectares (4.9 acres) area and 30-meters (98.4 feet) feature width.

In 1998, a total of 59,195 acres (15.4 percent) of the island of Oahu were classified as agricultural land use; 98,663 acres (25.7 percent) were classified as developed; 1,522 acres (0.4 percent) were classified as barren/mining; and 224,331 acres (58.5 percent) were classified as other. An accuracy assessment identified 98 percent accuracy for all land-use classes. In windward (moister) areas, dense vegetation and canopy cover along with rapid recolonization by vegetation potentially obscured land use from photo-interpretation. While in leeward (drier) areas, sparse vegetative cover and slower vegetation recolonization may have resulted in more frequent recognition of apparent land-use patterns.

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
    • Purpose and Scope
    • Previous Investigations
    • Description of the Study Area
    • Acknowledgements
  • Methods of Data Compilation and Classification
    • Classification System
    • Source Data
    • Identification and Delineation of Land Use
    • Field Verification and Adjustments
    • Accuracy Assessment
  • Land Use
    • Map Accuracy
    • Agricultural Land Use
    • Developed Land Use
    • Barren Land Use
    • Other Land Use
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
  • Appendix A. Generic Land-Use and Land-Cover Classification System Framework

Citation: Klasner, F.L., and Mikami, C.D., 2003, Land use on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, 1998: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4301, 20 p.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Persistent URL:
Page Contact Information: Contact USGS
Last modified: Thursday, September 01 2005, 05:07:05 PM
FirstGov button  Take Pride in America button