Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection

Volume 5, Issue 9 (September 2017)

ISSN Print: 2327-4336   ISSN Online: 2327-4344

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The Effect of Land Cover Change on Flooding in Texas

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ABSTRACT

The world population has been increasing while, similarly, both the number of environmental disasters and the loss resulting from those have been on the rise. It is also expected that the trend will continue. Especially, what is noticeable is that more and more people and property concentrate on cities. In fact, urbanization is a major global trend simply because most people want to get their jobs, raise and educate their children, and enjoy riches of diverse cultures, recreation activities, and entertainment, which cities can provide to them. Urbanization always involves transforming the natural environment into a man-made environment, contributing to changes in land use and land cover patterns as well as in landscape and hydrology in the built-up areas. These changes, in turn, negatively influence the natural environment because those changes almost always tend to result in the disruption of its fragile ecosystems in balance. In addition, the changes mean the land used, for example, for a natural ecosystem may be converted into an impervious land, which can increase human vulnerability to floods, causing human and property losses. There has been some research done to investigate the relationship between land use/land cover change and environmental hazards. However, little research has been conducted to test direct effects of land cover change on environmental disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and hazardous material releases by using GIS and remote sensing technologies. Therefore, this research aimed to analyze the effect of land cover change on floods. More specifically, the research tested whether land cover change is related to flood disasters in Texas from 1993 to 2012. One of the main findings of this research is that both decrease in forest areas and increase in urban built-up areas contributed to the property damage resulting from flood events.

Cite this paper

Hwang, S. (2017) The Effect of Land Cover Change on Flooding in Texas. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 5, 123-137. doi: 10.4236/gep.2017.59009.

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