Characterization and Evaluation of Natural Resources for Land Use Diversification Planning: A Case Study in a Block of Meghalaya Using RS & GIS Technique


Characterization and evaluation of land resources of Mawryngkneng block was carried out using IRS-P6 LISS III and LISS-IV data. Five major physiographic units namely structural hills, denudational hills, plateau and intermontane valley were identified. Visual interpretation of satellite data indicated that 32.2% of the total geographical area (TGA) is under dense forest followed by wastelands (28.8%), open forest (16.1%), cultivated area (13.6%), built up area (8.2%) and water body (0.9%). Ten soil series were tentatively identified and the soils belonged to 2 orders (Ultisols and Alfisols), 3 sub orders (Udult, Udalf and Humult), 6 great groups, 8 sub groups. The soils are moderately acidic, deep to very deep and texture varies from sandy clay loam to clay. The soils are very rich in organic carbon. The availability of nitrogen is medium to high and phosphorus availability is low to medium whereas potassium availability is low in the entire study area. The soils were grouped into land capability class II & III and the soils were moderately to marginally suitable for orange and marginally suitable for pine apple. An action plan with suggested land use and interventions has been prepared by using all land resource information generated under the study. The action plan includes areas for afforestation, intensive cultivation in the existing cropped areas with soil conservation measures like mulching, zero tillage etc. and orange and pine apple plantation in open scrub lands which are cultivable wastelands. This might help the farmers and the planner in better management of land resources for sustained productivity.

Share and Cite:

Das, P. , Devi, H. , Sudhakar, S. and Rently, M. (2014) Characterization and Evaluation of Natural Resources for Land Use Diversification Planning: A Case Study in a Block of Meghalaya Using RS & GIS Technique. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 170-177. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.52018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] T. Garnett, M. C. Appleby, A. Balmford, I. J. Bateman, T. G. Benton, P. Bloomer, B. Burlingame, M. Dawkins, L. Dolan, D. Fraser, M. Herrero, I. Hoffmann, P. Smith, P. K. Toulmin, C. Thornton, S. J. Vermeulen and H. C. J. Godfray, “Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture: Premises and Policies,” Science, Vol. 341, No. 6141, 2013, pp. 33-34.
[2] R. Lal, “Soils and India’s Food Security,” Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 56, 2008, pp. 129-138.
[3] National Remote Sensing Agency, “In Manual: Nationwide Mapping of Land Degradation Using Multi-Temporal Satellite Data,” 2007.
[4] H. Jenny, “Factors of Soil Formation,” McGraw Hill Publisher, New York, 1941.
[5] R. L. Wright, “An Evaluation of Soil Variability over Single Bedrock Type in Part of Southeast Spain,” Catena, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1996, pp. 1-24.
[6] R. Srivastava and R. K. Saxena, “Technique of Large Scale Soil Mapping in Basaltic Terrain Using Satellite Remote Sensing Data,” International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 25, 2004, pp. 679-688.
[7] M. Kudrat, A. K. Sinha and M. L. Manchandra, “Multilevel Soil Mapping Using IRS IC WiFS, LISS III and Pan Data,” Indian Space Research Organisation, Bangalore. 2000.
[8] A. E. Shukla, J. Prasad, M. S. S. Nagaraju, R. Srivastava and D. L. Kauraw, “Use of Remote Sensing in Characterisation and Management of Dhamni Micro-Watershed of Chandrapur District of Maharastra,” Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing, Vol. 58, 2009, pp. 64-69.
[9] B. P. Girish, M. S. S. Nagaraju, J. Prasad and R. Srivastava, “Characterization, Evaluation and Mapping of Land Resources in Lendi Watershed, Chandrapur District of Maharastra Using Remote Sensing and GIS,” Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Sciences, Vol. 58, 2010, pp. 442-448.
[10] T. Das. Pratibha, “Study of the Soils of Deepor Beel Catchment in Relation to Soil Forming Factors Using Remote Sensing and GIS,” Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, Vol. 38, No. 2, 2010, pp. 94-100.
[11] R. B. Rashmi, R. Srivastava, M. S. S. Nagaraju and J. Prasad, “Characterization and Evaluation of Land Resources for Watershed Management in Vidabha Region of Maharastra Using RS & GIS,” Journal of the Indian Society of Soil Science, Vol. 60, No. 4, 2012, pp. 261-268.
[12] C. Sys, V. Ranst, J. Debaveye and F. Beernaert, “Land Evaluation Part III, Crop Requirements,” Agricultural Publication No. 7, ITC Ghent, 2008.
[13] S. V. Bobade, B. P. Bhaskar, M. S. Gaikawd, P. Raja, S. S. Gaikwad, S. G. Anantwar, S. V. Patil, S. R. Singh and A. K. Maji, “A GIS Based Land Use Suitability Assessment in Seoni District, Madhya Pradesh, India,” Tropical Ecology, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2010, pp. 41-54.
[14] H. M. Stout and B. D. Lee, “Land Use Planning Exercise Using Geographic Information System and Digital Soil Survey,” Journal of Natural Resource Life Science & Education, Vol. 33, 2004, pp. 11-15.
[15] Y. S. Seok, S. D. Hong and J. H. Ahn, “Soil Fertility Evaluation by Application of Geographic Information System for Tobacco Fields,” Journal of Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer, Vol. 21, 1999, pp. 36-48.
[16] S. D. Hong and H. T. Park, “Soil Fertility Evaluation with Adoption of Soil Map Data Base for Tobacco Fields,” Journal of Korean Society of Soil Science and Fertilizer, Vol. 32, 1999, pp. 95-108.
[17] Anon, “In Project Report: Soil Fertility Mapping of Mawryngkneng Community and Rural Development Block,” 2010, pp. 12-16.
[18] T. M. Lillisand and R. W. Keifer, “Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation,” John Wiley, Singapore, 2004.
[19] IARI, “Soil Survey Manual,” All India Soil and Land Use Survey, IARI, New Delhi, 1970.
[20] FAO, “FAO Guidelines for Soil Profile Description,” Rome, 1977.
[21] SLUSI, “Annual Report,” IARI, New Delhi, 2008.
[22] Klingebiel and Montgomery, “Land Capability Classification, USDA Handbook,” US Government Pr. Office, Washington DC, 1966, 21 p.

Copyright © 2024 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.