Share This Article:

Land Use and Land Cover Changes in a Tropical River Basin: A Case from Bharathapuzha River Basin, Southern India

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:2393KB) PP. 185-193
DOI: 10.4236/jgis.2010.24026    10,259 Downloads   18,709 Views   Citations


A study of the spatial and temporal changes in land use and land cover (LULC) was conducted using Remote Sensing and GIS. We analyzed the LULC of Bharathapuzha river basin, south India using multispectral LANDSAT imageries of 1973-2005 time periods. 31% depletion in the natural vegetation cover and 8.7% depletion in wetland agriculture area were seen in the basin during the period. On the other hand the urban spread in the basin increased by 32%. The study highlights the need for a scientific management plan for the sustainability of the river basin, keeping in view the recent climatic anomalies and hydrological conditions of the basin.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

P. Raj and P. Azeez, "Land Use and Land Cover Changes in a Tropical River Basin: A Case from Bharathapuzha River Basin, Southern India," Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2010, pp. 185-193. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2010.24026.


[1] P. K. Joshi and S. Gairola, “Land Cover Dynamics in Ga- rhwal Himalayas - A Case Study of Balkhila Sub-Watershed,” Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2004, pp. 199-208.
[2] S. O. Jingan, N. Jiupai, W. Chaofu and X. Deti, “Land Use Change and its Corresponding Ecological Responses: A Review,” Journal of Geographical Science, Vol. 15, No. 3, pp. 305-328.
[3] S. Zhao, C. Peng, H. Jiang, D. Tian, X. Lei and X. Zhou, “Land Use Change in Asia and the Ecological Consequences,” Ecological Research, Vol. 21, No. 6, 2006, pp. 890-896.
[4] M. G. Turner, W. H. Romme, R. H. Gardner, R. V O’Neill and T. K. Kratz, “A Revised Concept of Landscape Equilibrium: Disturbance and Stability on Scaled Landscapes,” Land Ecology, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1993, pp. 213- 227.
[5] N. Ramankutty and J. A. Foley, “Estimating Historical Changes in Global Land Cover: Croplands from 1700 to 1992,” Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 13, No. 4, 1999, pp. 997-1028.
[6] J. Wilk and D. A. Hughes, “Simulating the Impacts of Land-Use and Climate Change on Water Resource Avai- lability for a Large South Indian Catchment,” Hydrology Sciences, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 19-30.
[7] H. Long, G. K. Heiligb, X. Lic and M. Zhang, “Socio- economic Development and Land-Use Change: Analysis of Rural Housing Land Transition in the Transect of the Yangtze River, China,” Land Use Policy, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2007, pp. 141-153.
[8] M. Guler, T. Yomraloglu and S. Reis, “Using Landsat Data to Determine Land Use/Land Cover Changes in Samsun, Tu- rkey,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 127, No. 1-3, 2007, pp. 155-167.
[9] R. K. Jaisawal, R. Saxena and S. Mukherjee, “Applicatio- ns of Remote Sensing Technology for Landuse/Landco- ver Change Analysis,” Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 123-128.
[10] P. G. Pilon, P. J. Howarth and R. A. Q. Bullock, “An Enhanced Classification Approach to Change Detection in Semiarid Environments,” Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, Vol. 54, No. 10, 1988, pp. 1709- 1716.
[11] T. Fung and Q. Zhang, “Land Use Change Detection and Identification with Landsat Digital Data in the Kitchener– Waterloo Area,” In: Remote Sensing and Methodologies of Land Use Change Analysis, C. R. Bryant and E. F. LeDrew, Eds., Department of Geography, University of Waterloo, 1989, pp. 135-153.
[12] N. Lele and P. K. Joshi, “Analyzing Deforestation Rates, Spatial Forest Cover Changes and Identifying Critical Areas of Forest Cover Changes in North-East India during 1972-1999,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Vol. 156, No. 1-4, 2008, pp. 159-170.
[13] U. M. Chandrashekara, “Anthropogenic Pressure on Stru- cture and Composition of a Shola Forest in Kerala,” Indian Journal of Mountain Science, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2005, pp. 58-70.
[14] D. Venugopal, “Development-Conservation Dilemma in the Nilgiri Mountains of South India,” Journal of Mountain Science, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2004, pp. 74-80.
[15] C. S. Jha, C. B. S. Dutt and K. S. Bawa, “Deforestation and Land Use Changes in Western Ghats, India,” Current Science, Vol. 79, No. 2, 2000, pp. 231-238.
[16] A. K. Negi, B. P. Bhatt and N. P Todaria, “Local Population Impacts on the Forests of Garhwal Himalaya, India,” Environmentalist, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1999, pp. 293-303.
[17] N. R. Gunawardene, A. E. D. Daniels, I. A. U. N. Gunatilleke, C. V. S. Gunatilleke, P. V. Karunakaran, K. G. Nayak, S. Prasad, P. Puyravaud, B. R. Ramesh, K. A. Subramanian and G. Vasanthy, “A Brief Overview of the Western Ghats-Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot,” Current Science, Vol. 93, 2007, pp. 1567-1572.
[18] P. P. N. Raj and P. A. Azeez, “Real Estate and Agricultural Wetlands in Kerala,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 44, No. 5, 2009(a), pp. 63-66.
[19] R. Mahesh, “Farm Size-Productivity Relation Ship: Some Evidence from Kerala,” KIED Working Paper, Kerala Institute for Environment and Development, Thiruvananthapuram, 2000.
[20] G. Gopikuttan and K. N. P. Kurup, “Paddy Land Conversion in Kerala an Inquiry into Ecological and Economic Aspects in a Midland Watershed Region,” Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, 2004.
[21] CWRDM, “Water Resources Development of Bharathapuzha Basin, a Status Report,” 1991.
[22] CWRDM, “Master Plan for Drought Mitigation in Palakkad District,” 2004.
[23] S. P. Ravi, C. G Madhusoodhanan, A. Latha, S. Unnikrishnan and K. H. A Bachan, “Tragedy of Commons: The Kerala Experience in River Linking,” River Research Centre, Thrissur, 2004.
[24] P. P. N. Raj and P. A. Azeez, “Changing Rainfall in the Palakkad Plains of South India,” Atmósfera, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2010, pp. 81-88.
[25] N. Raj and P. A. Azeez, “Historical Analysis of the First Rain Event and the Number of Rain Days in the Western Part of Palakkad Gap, South India,” Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2009(b).
[26] B. M. Kumar, “Land Use in Kerala: Changing Scenarios and Shifting Paradigms,” Journal of Tropical Agricultural, Vol. 42, No. 1-2, 2005, pp. 1-12.
[27] T. J. Nossiter, “Communism in Kerala: A Study in Political Adaptation,” Royal Institute of International Affairs, Hurst & Co. Publishers, New York, 1982.
[28] S. Chattopadhyay and M. Chattopadhyay, “Sustainable Land Management in Kerala, India-A Bio-Physical Approach,” Proceedings of Geo-Information for Sustainable Land Management (SLM), K. J. Beek, K. D. Bie and P. Driessen, Eds., Enschede ITC Journal, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1997, pp. 165-174.
[29] M. Eapen, “Economic Diversification in Kerala: A Spatial Analysis,” Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, 1999.
[30] N. Raj and P. A. Azeez, “The Shrinking Rice Paddies of Kerala,” Indian Economic Review, Vol. 6, 2009(c), pp. 176-183.
[31] P. S. George and S. Chattopadhyay, “Population and Land Use in Kerala, Growing Populations, Changing Landscapes: Studies from India, China, and the United States,” The National Academy of Sciences, The National Academies Press, 2001.
[32] V. M. Meher-Homji, “Probable Impact of Deforestation on Hydrological Processes,” Climatic Change, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1991, pp. 163-173.
[33] A. G. Pandurangan and V. J. Nair, “Changing Pattern of Floristic Composition in the Idukki Hydro-Electric Project Area, Kerala,” Journal of economic and taxonomic botany, Vol. 21, 1996, pp. 15-26.
[34] M. K. Soman, K. K. Kumar and N. Singh, “Decreasing Trend in the Rainfall of Kerala,” Current Science, Vol. 57, No. 1, 1998, pp. 7-12.
[35] P. A. Azeez, S. Bhupathy, A. Rajasekharan, P. R. Arun, D. Stephan and D. Kannan, “Comprehensive EIA (Botanical and Zoological Aspects) of the Proposed Puyankutty Hydroelectric Project, Kerala,” Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, 1999.
[36] P. T. Sunil, “Dimensions of Agrarian Distress: The Case of Wayanad District, Kerala,” Financing Agriculture - Natational Journal of Agriculture & Rural Development, 2007, pp. 7-12.
[37] Census of India, “District Census Hand Book Palakkad,” 2001(a).
[38] Census of India, “District Census Hand Book Thrissur,” 2001(b).
[39] Census of India, “District Census Hand Book Malappuram,” 2001(c).
[40] Census of India, “District Census Hand Book Coimbatore,” 2001(d).
[41] S. Chattopadhyay, “Deforestation in Parts of Western Ghats Region (Kerala), India,” Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 20, 1985, pp. 219-230.
[42] R. M. Raj, “Patterns of Social Change among the Migrant Farmers of Kannur District - A Case Study,” Project Report Submitted to Kerala Research Programme on Local Development, Centre for Developmental Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, 2003.
[43] H. Joshi, “Identifying Asset Price Bubbles in the Housing Market in India-Preliminary Evidence,” Reserve Bank of India Occasional Papers, Vol. 27, No. 1-2, 2006, pp. 73- 88.
[44] P. N. Sushama, “Transition from High to Replacement- Level Fertility in a Kerala Village,” Health Transition Review, Office of Population Health and Nutrition, New Delhi, Vol. 6, 1996, pp. 115-136.
[45] P. G. Mahurkar and Senthil, “Final Paper on Real Estate Fund Management Indian Perspective,” Asian Real Estate Society, AsRES Conference, New Delhi, 2004.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.