Geografie 2013, 118, 95-115

Land Cover Changes along the Iron Curtain 1990–2006

Lucie Kupková, Ivan Bičík, Jiří Najman

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Dpt. of Social Geography and Regional Development, Albertov 6, 128 43, Praha 2, Czechia

Received October 2011
Accepted March 2013

The article analyses land cover changes along the Iron Curtain in the period 1990–2006. CORINE land cover state and land cover change datasets are used to evaluate differences in land cover structure in 1990 and in land cover changes between the eastern (from former German Democratic Republic to Hungary) and western (former Federal Republic of Germany and Austria) border sections along the Iron Curtain. The results confirm different representation of individual land cover categories on the eastern and western sides. Different intensity of changes at the eastern and western border sections has been confirmed, too. More intense land cover changes were detected in the “East” after 1990. The highest intensity of changes was recorded at the Czech border sections where rather strong process of afforestation took place, together with retreat of intensive agriculture (changes on more than 8% of the area between 1990 and 2000). On the contrary, the Austrian border section was the most stable area (changes only on 0.13% of the area).


This article was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, project GA ČR 205/09/0995 “Regional differentiation and potential risks of land use as a reflection of functional changes in Czech landscape (1990–2010)” and project GA ČR P410/12/G113 “Historical Geography Research Centre”.


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