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Assessment of Landscape Change of Lesser Himalayan Road Corridor of Uttarakhand, India

  • Sur, Ujjwal1, 2
  • Singh, Prafull2
  • 1 Amity University-Sector 125, India , (India)
  • 2 Central University of South Bihar, 824236 , (India)
Published Article
Journal of Landscape Ecology
De Gruyter Open Sp. z o.o.
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
DOI: 10.2478/jlecol-2020-0014
De Gruyter


The spatio-temporal monitoring and understanding of the pattern of land-use and land-cover (LULC) change in the Himalayas are essential for sustainable development, especially from environmental planning and management perspective. The increasing anthropogenic activities and climate change in the Siwalik and Lesser Himalayas have substantially experienced rapid change in the natural landscape; however, detailed investigation and documentation of such observed changes are limited. This study aims to assess the LULC changes along the Kalsi-Chakrata road corridor located in the Lesser Himalayan region of Uttarakhand state of India using remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) for the periods 2000-2010 and 2010-2019. The LULC maps were generated from multi-temporal satellite images of the Landsat -7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) series for 2000 and 2010, and the Linear Imaging Self-Scanning System IV (LISS IV) images from Resourcesat-1 for 2019. The extent of spatial landscape changes occurred in different LULC classes was performed through the cross-tabulation change matrix in the GIS module up to the individual village level. The results indicate that the forest cover of the area was intensively converted to open areas, sparse vegetation, and different land-use categories. These included agricultural land, built-up areas, and decreased from 47.27 % in 2000 to 36.66 % in 2019. During the same period, the open areas and agricultural areas were increased by 15.86 % and 4.49 %, respectively. Moreover, the built-up areas (both urban and rural settlements) were progressively increased from 0.33% in 2000 to 0.56 % in 2019. The conversion of forests and sparsely vegetative areas to agricultural land and rural settlements is closely associated with the increasing anthropogenic activities due to population growth, tourism, movement of heavy vehicles for mining and other economic activities. The changes in land-cover to land use classes are more prominent in Samalta Dadauli, Nithala, Bhugtari, and Udapalta villages located between Kalsi and Sahiya town. The reported maximum transition of forest areas into the open area, agricultural land, and sparse vegetation indicates the possible scarcity of water, which could link with the incidence of climatic or seasonal variation in the Lesser Himalayan terrain to the hydro-geomorphic and anthropogenic processes. The trend in LULC change at the village level gave the insight to help to prioritize future mitigation planning and sustainable development that are exceedingly convenient for the planners, policymakers, and local authorities for comprehensive forest management, biodiversity strategies, and necessary conservation

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