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Analysis of land use/land cover dynamics using remote sensing and gis techniques: a case of Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya

Author: 
Thangjam Somendro and Singh, O. P.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The study aims at identifying and analyzing the changes in land use/land cover (LULC) in Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya, using Landsat series satellite data for 1987, 1999 and 2013. The study is based on comparison of LULC data of two time interval periods of 1987-1999 and 1999-2013. Using an integrated supervised-unsupervised hybrid training approaches of image classification, the LULC maps were prepared and used to analyze the changes in LULC of the study area. The findings of this study revealed that the area under dense and open forest had experienced significant reduction while all the others remaining LULC classes constantly increased during the study period. The area under dense forest and open forest had decreased approximately by 12.17 % and 10.97% during the entire study period. However, a declining trend in the rate of change for both the forest classes have been observed in the study period. Though there is a decline in the rate of forest cover loss, the quality of forest cover tends to degrade as there has been an increasing conversion to shrub/grassland specifically during 1999-2013. The study suggests that continuous human interference in the natural landscape has led to the depletion of the quantity and quality of forest cover, resulting in deforestation and degradation in the study area. This study provides the baseline data and an updated information for LULC changes phenomena in the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya and thus results can be used for better planning and conservation of forest in the area.

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