Assessment of Changes in Land Use and Land Cover Patterns Using RS and GIS: A Case Study of Upper Beas Basin of Kullu Valley in Western Himalayas, India | Original Article
This study evaluates the LULC changes using RS and GIS tools. The study area, upper Beas river basin of Kullu Valley, falls in the middle Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh, India. The images of Land sat TM of 1991, Landsat ETM+ of 2001 and Landsat OLI of 2016 at 30 meters spatial resolution were used for the study. Both anthropogenic and environmental factors that are responsible for the changes in land use and land cover are evaluated. The study indicated positive changes in bare rock (20), agriculture (1.72), open forest (0.34), settlement (built-up 0.05) and river (0.02) and whereas negative changes are observed in snow cover (-18.3), grass (-3.18) and forest (-0.53) during the years 1991-2001, and the trends remained similar with different magnitudes during 2001 – 2016. The decline in forest area and grass cover with parallel increase in agricultural area and associated urbanisation clearly infer the dominant role of manmade activities in controlling the LULC changes in this region. Depletion in snow cover of this region between 1991 and 2016 could be a consequence of the recession of the colder climatic belt to higher altitudes.