Impact of climatic factors on land-use changes using geo-spatial techniques

Fazal Karim, Muhammad Irfan Ashraf, Muhammad Amin, Mobushir Riaz Khan, Atif Ali Khan

Abstract


Land-use changes directly influence ecosystem. In recent years, land-use patterns have changed rapidly and caused serious threats to ecosystem balance. The present study demonstrated importance of Geographical Information System (GIS) for detection of land-use changes. Land-use changes occurred during 1992-2009 were detected for District Diamer of Gilgit-Baltistan with geo-spatial techniques. Satellite images were categorized into ten land-use classes such as agriculture, broad leave forest, dense conifer forest, grass, lakes, natural water bodies, river, soil, sparse conifer forest and unclassified area. The results indicated that agriculture area has increased by 16.03 km2, broadleaved forest by 8.78 km2 whereas dense conifer forest has decreased by 350.27 km2. The area under grasses and lakes has also increased. However, natural water bodies showed remarkable decrease in area by 367.23 km2. Unclassified area also showed decrease by 357.62 km2. The study revealed the increasing trend of agriculture while shrinking in forest area with the passage of time. An increase in area of rivers, lakes and grasslands was observed. This study also demonstrated the importance of geospatial techniques to determine land-use change for the large area. The study revealed that land-use changes are rapidly taking place due to human and climatic factors.

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