In hydrographic basins with wetlands, changes in land use (LU) and land cover (LC) impact the conservation of natural resources, leading to dynamics analysis for integral management. A method is proposed offering greater accuracy in determining the LU and LC bi-temporal and spatial change dynamics in tropical wetlands. LU and LC monitoring is based on Landsat images from 1986 to 2017. ‘Pre-classification’ and ‘post-classification’ methods are applied. In the former, reflectance image differencing and principal component N° 1 image differencing are analyzed to estimate the rate of change/no change area. In the latter, supervised classification is carried out of image pairs from different dates. The principal components method shows that principal component N° 1 collects between 88 and 93% of the reflectance variance in n spectral bands of each satellite image, which improves accuracy in determining LU and LC change dynamics.

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