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Scrivener Publishing

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Phillip Carmical (

Geographic Information Science for Land Resource Management

Edited by

Suraj Kumar Singh,

Shruti Kanga,

Gowhar Meraj,

Majid Farooq,




Sustainable development refers to utilizing natural capital using qualitative and quantitative integrity by balancing anthropogenic practices, such as social activities, acquired awareness, modern technology, and food production with conservation. Sustainability attempts to identify resource scarcity, deforestation, destruction of ecosystems, and global and local environmental degradation. Sustainable utilization and control of critical natural resources cannot be accomplished without considering its impact on humans. An interdisciplinary approach is needed to ensure the long-term management of natural resources and their sustainable use from an ecological and socioeconomic viewpoint.

GI Science consists of satellite remote sensing (RS), Geographical Information System (GIS), and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that is nowadays a backbone of environmental protection, natural resource management, and sustainable development and planning. Being a powerful and proficient tool for mapping, monitoring, modeling, and managing natural resources, it can understand the Earth’s surface and its dynamics at different observational scales. Through the spatial understanding of the problem concerning land resources, policymakers can make prudent decisions to restore and conserve critically endangered resources, such as water bodies, lakes, rivers, air, forests, wildlife, and biodiversity.

Geographic Information Science for Land Resource Management is a comprehensive book focusing on managing land resources using innovative spatial information sciences and satellite remote sensing techniques and has been written by prominent researchers actively working in this field of science. The enormous stress on the land resources over the years due to anthropogenic activities for commercialization and livelihood needs has increased manifold. The only solution to this problem lies in the stakeholders’ awareness, which can only be attained through scientific means. This awareness is the basis of sustainable development, which involves optimal natural resources management, subject to reliable, accurate, and timely information from the global to the local scale. The primary focus of this book is to replenish the gap in the available literature on the subject by bringing the concepts, theories, and experiences of the specialists and professionals in this field jointly. The editors have worked hard to bring the best literature in this field in book form to help students, researchers, and policymakers develop a complete understanding of the land system’s vulnerabilities and solutions. We hope the book shall do service to humanity, as it is intended to do.

Chapter 1 starts with the review of various literature concerning climate change in South Asia and GIScience’s role in its adaptation of mitigation. According to the authors, South Asia is one of the world’s oldest civilizations. However, it is currently facing grave issues regarding climate change, particularly the changes in the precipitation and temperature patterns. South Asia is home to more than 20% of the world population. The region is already facing the pressure of high population, and degradation of natural resources makes this region more vulnerable to climate change. Other environmental indicators include increasing temperature, melting of Himalaya ice with a high rate, rising sea level in coastal areas, floods, increasing frequency of cyclones. Remote Sensing and GIS allow to gather information quickly and use it to adapt and help with damage assessment. South Asia needs a collective policy framework to mitigate climate change’s disastrous impacts to achieve sustainable development objectives. Chapter 2 reviews the importance of land resources and the role of GI technology in its management. Land resources are renewable, extensive, and provide ground for all development activities. Twelve million hectares of land degrades every year globally, while a hundred million hectares of India is non-arable land. India promised to turn 26 million hectares of land into agricultural land that requires holistic information about landforms (like plains, hills, plateaus). The land resource planners need a synoptic view of land resources. Potential intervention areas include smart funding machinery, geospatial technology, private sector involvement, and funding diverted to increasing the ability to replenish natural resources.

In Chapter 3, Agra city’s urbanization has been assessed using analysis of satellite imagery to show spatial and temporal aspects of urban growth in Agra city. The LULC classification has been performed on Landsat TM, ETM+, and OLI satellite datasets. The city has been attracting more migrants resulting in environmental, economic, social, and ecological impacts. The author argues that proper urban planning must be coordinated between the local government and decision-makers for the sustainable development of Agra. Chapter 4 aims to define anthropogenic practices in contravention of the legislation in place and then, using geospatial methods, map out these interaction activities in Takamanda National Park, Cameroon. This study was done between 2014-2017. The majority of the information was retrieved using PAs management authority’s database; however, GPS and Garmin eTrex systems have also been used to capture the locations of anthropogenic practices in the study area. ArcGIS 10.2.2 was used to map these practices. The anthropogenic practices observed were fishing, hunting/poaching, harvesting non-timber forest products-NTFPs, and livestock rearing in the protected area (PA). The study has highlighted PA management’s problems and the urgency for a successful PA structure to be placed in motion if the SDGs are to be achieved at the country level.

Chapter 5 reviews the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and addresses how a micro-climate event is identified as the most distinguished urban climate representative. It has been considered a perilous predicament for years for its harmful contribution to global warming, heat-related deaths, erratic climate patterns, patterns of energy expenditure, urban air quality, and critical threat well-being of urban residents. With the change in land use patterns in urban areas, the landscape’s ability to manage the UHI effect has also changed. The author demonstrates how the impact of UHI can be significantly mitigated by using energy-efficient technologies and improving urban landscape planning and strategies. Despite increased studies on the UHI effect, no comprehensive assessment of the UHI effect elements has been reported in the existing literature. This chapter addresses the urgent need to recognize and categorize the elements that participate and mitigate the UHI effect to understand its underlying mechanisms systematically. Chapter 6 provides an introduction to the mountain cryosphere and its main concepts. Authors discuss the significance of snow studies in the alpine regions and discuss snowpack properties in the alpine regions that are essential for snowpack characterization. The authors further discuss the role of remote sensing and the importance of using it to get a more precise grasp of the snow’s physical properties and conclude that these techniques allow monitoring the alpine snowpack and their application to hydrological modeling, and avalanche forecasting.

In Chapter 7, a computational model known as spectral ratioing is discussed and explained in spatiotemporal feature extraction through satellite imagery. Since multispectral satellite images are in multiple spectral bands, a different mathematical combination is used for each spectral band. The chapter discusses how spectral ratioing can be used to derive different features. Categorization of spectra is reviewed, and spectral indices are listed along with examples. The chapter explores the types of spectral ratios and indexes and their applicability for different purposes. The spectral ratio method has been used to explore the features that can be characterized in the image by their spectral properties. Chapter 8 aims to quantify surface water coverage in the mining region of Odisha. The study estimated the changes from 2016-2019 and the changes from January 2019 to December 2019. A decision tree method was used to detect all water-bearing pixels in the study area. The chapter emphasizes satellite data’s role in tracking the variations in area coverage of surface water over time and space that helps in sustainable water management decisions.

In Chapter 9, spatial variations of physicochemical parameters of Wular lake, one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes, were investigated using mapping of higher plumes/identifying critical areas. The authors have observed that the lake water is alkaline, characterized by medium total dissolved solids and electrical conductivity. The average concentration of parameters like calcium, magnesium, and nitrates was highest in the Lake’s northern side due to anthropogenic inputs. Other parameters like water temperature, turbidity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, hardness, alkalinity, and phosphates also showed a variable character throughout the Lake both temporally and spatially. The results highlight the varied lake water character in different seasons with the increase and decrease in Lake’s flow. In Chapter 10, a water quality assessment has been carried out in Tehsil Matta District SWAT Pakistan. The water samples have been tested for pH, electric conductivity, DO, salinity, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, chloride, sulphate, and BOD in the Environmental Sciences University of Peshawar. The results showed that pH, electrical conductivity, DO, salinity, alkalinity, total dissolved solids, chloride, sulphate, and BOD were all average values. Satellite data and GIS has been used for mapping water quality zones using spatial interpolation techniques. Matta was found safe regarding water quality. The authors used the National Standards Drinking water quality Pakistan and WHO criteria to classify water quality parameters.

Chapter 11, using satellite data, demonstrated that the sea level rise is higher in the Sundarbans area than the global mean sea level rise. A LANDSAT data analysis revealed that mangroves in this area cover 1599.9 square kilometers that have been tremendously reduced due to sea-level rise. The Sundarbans area is very susceptible to flooding. Natural hazards such as storms and coastal erosion are common in the reserve forest, significantly affecting the Sundarban mangrove forest. Chapter 12 focuses on the proper management of river catchments for efficient water and soil conservation. The study used a detailed study of morphometric patterns in the Giri watershed, Himachal Pradesh, India, a part of the Yamuna river drainage system. The results suggested that the river has often experienced high rainfall in the monsoon season, thus altering the drainage basin characteristics. The drainages are dendritic and parallel pattern in the watershed, resulting in an enormous influence on the changing watershed. The high rainfall runoff and soil erosion might be a more significant concern during the monsoon season and winter rainfall periods in the watershed.

Chapter 13 seeks to improve techniques for calculating flow and water levels in rivers in Varaždin, Croatia. They have used the RAPS approach (Rescaled Adjusted Partial Sums) to assess the subseries within the initial time series of the averaged regular flow. It has significance in calculating the periods that the river is going to flood. The approach is based on the relationship between the measured water levels and the watercourse flow in its cross-section, the rating curve. The work has proposed a geographic database and a map of all calculated locations for experts in this research field. Chapter 14 aims to assess the forest dynamics in the South Chota Nagpur districts of Jharkhand – a region that has experienced rapid population growth within a short span. There has been a decline in forest cover, which is exceptionally dense. There are multiple pockets of deforestation where development has led to changing vegetation patterns. When forests change, the people who depend on the forests may change economically. The rapid growth of population, industrialization, and urbanization has caused significant impacts on the forests in the region.

Chapter 15 attempts to show whether forest fires resulted from specific vegetation in three districts of Tamil Nadu or not. Wildfires are becoming very common in Tamil Nadu, India. In a single year, there were fires of hectares of forest land. The study generated NDVI maps from the MODIS imagery during the last three years of fire season to visualize the fires’ impact. Factors considered include vegetation type, temperatures, precipitation, roads, and the study area routes. Risk and spread maps were created with a weighted overlay tool in ArcGIS 10.3. The study proposed a mobile app that hikers can use to plan their hikes, avoiding dangerous areas. Chapter 16 attempts to delimit the land suitable for agriculture using the weighted overlay method. By understanding the land-use change, the work has focussed on performing the region’s land-use suitability analysis. About 22.34% of the land area was observed to be highly suitable for agricultural practices. The land-use suitability revolves around the concepts of land use and land cover. The term land cover refers to the biological, physical spread over the outside of the land, counting vegetation, water, soil, and built-up lands. The term land use is a progressively perplexing phenomenon that environmental researchers characterize land use as the anthropogenic activities, such as ranger service, farming, and development of the urban area that affects activities on the surface of the land hydrology, biogeochemistry, and biodiversity.

Chapter 17 is a quantitative study that emphasizes morphometric characteristics’ role by addressing the linear, aerial, and relief aspects of Beas Upper Catchment, India. Data input for the study included ASTER & CARTOSAT DEM (30m) and IRS LISS-IV Imagery. The authors demonstrated how proper planning and management of available natural resources is necessary for the region’s progress and development. They elucidated the role of satellite remote sensing and the Geographic Information System (GIS) as a competent tool for delineating and analyzing the watershed for proper planning and forecasting the topography, hydrological behavior, and drainage pattern, engineering, site suitability, and water potential of the catchment area. Chapter 18 focuses on the watershed prioritization for soil and water conservation in the lower Wardha river of Wardha River basin, Maharashtra, India. The results indicated that the drainage network is dendritic to sub-dendritic pattern and is non-perennial. Inadequate soil cover, sparse vegetation, erratic rainfall, and lack of soil moisture characterize the area for most of the year. Recurring drought coupled with an increase in groundwater exploitation results has resulted in a decline in the groundwater level. The morphometric parameters are computed using ArcMap 10.2 version GIS software. The research has divided the entire subwatershed is divided into five smaller units viz., SW-I, SW-II, SW-III, SW-IV, and SW-V that are intended to be taken up for development and management plans to conserve natural resources on a sustainable basis with immediate effects. The chapter demonstrated the implementation of timely soil and water conservation using the high, medium, and low priority watersheds to effectively make decisions.

Chapter 19 deals with the morphometric analysis of Pohru water, Kashmir Himalayas, wherein different linear, aerial, and relief parameters were calculated using Strahler’s (1964) modified scheme of stream order. The study reveals that the study area’s drainage reflects hard-rock terrain control despite unconsolidated erosional deposits at low lying areas. The overall geomorphic landscape is mature to youthful. The maximum stream segment length is noted for first-order streams, which generally decrease as the stream order increases. It is pertinent to mention that the research the calculated sinuosity index value of 1.36 for the watershed indicates that the river Pohru is of the meandering type. The study concluded that the watershed has moderate to high susceptibility to flooding in low lying areas. Chapter 20 aims to derive groundwater’s intrinsic vulnerability using the GIS platform and compares the two models– DRASTIC and SINTACS to derive the intrinsic groundwater vulnerability. The first part of the chapter aims to derive the SINTACS model’s appropriateness to find the study area’s intrinsic groundwater vulnerability. Both the models use parameters as depth, recharge, aquifer, soil, topography, vadose zone, and hydraulic conductivity. Maps representing each of these parameters depicting the hydrogeology of the area are created in the GIS environment. The vulnerability zones for both the models were derived using the weighted overlay tool in ArcGIS 10.4. Further, the results from both models were validated to the contaminants in the wells. The statistical result showed that both DRASTIC and SINTACS methods showed comparable results and can be successfully used for the alluvium aquifer system. The second part of the research assesses the temporal variation of intrinsic groundwater vulnerability for the years 2000 and 2012 and contaminants exceeding the prescribed limits concerning land use in the year 2012 for the study area using the SINTACS method. The research showed that the degree of vulnerability under the ‘extremely high’ class has increased from 3% in the year 2000 to 15% in 2012, clearly indicating groundwater’s increasing vulnerability.

Suraj Kumar Singh
Shruti Kanga
Gowhar Meraj

Majid Farooq


Completing this book, Geographic Information Science for Land Resource Management, could not have been possible without the grace of almighty God.

We are grateful to Hon’ble Sunil Sharma, Chairperson, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur, for his encouragement and support. Words cannot express our indebtedness to Hon’ble Dr. Sudhanshu, Chief Mentor, Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur, for his continuous guidance, expert suggestions, and motivation for the completion of this book.

The editors would like to express heartfelt gratitude to all the editorial advisory board members for their endless support and valuable instructions at all stages of the preparation of this book. Special thanks are due to all the reviewers for taking the time to review the chapters. We thank all the colleagues, friends, and relatives who shared their constant and moral support in one way or another. The editors are eternally thankful to Scrivener Publishing for providing us the opportunity to work and publish with them.

Suraj Kumar Singh
Shruti Kanga
Gowhar Meraj

Majid Farooq
May 2021