Anthropogenic Land Use Change Detection in a Kashmir Himalayan Watershed – A Remote Sensing and GIS Approach

M. Imran Malik, M. Sultan Bhat


Watersheds are ubiquitous units that can be seen as the physical foundation of the nation. They have long been recognized as desirable units for planning and implementing developmental programs. Human impact on the watersheds is increasing day by day. The alteration of land use pattern in the Himalayan watersheds is increasing the vulnerability of these inherently fragile ecosystems. The present study is conducted in a Himalayan watershed of Lidder catchment in Kashmir valley by integrating remote sensing, geographical information system (GIS), field survey and socio-economic data. The multi-temporal land use land cover (LULC) change detection is carried out using digital classification procedure. The results have revealed that agriculture and forest area has been encroached by horticulture and built-up area. High growth rate of population and maximization of economic returns from cultivable land are identified as the two main drivers of LULC change in the watershed. The study proposes that a comprehensive land use policy must be implemented to avoid unsustainable expansion of various land uses at the cost of natural land cover.

Keywords: Remote sensing, GIS, land use, Kashmir, digital classification, watershed


Remote sensing; GIS; Land use; Kashmir; Digital classification; watershed

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