, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 287-297

Wetland Monitoring, Serving as an Index of Land Use Change-A Study in Samaspur Wetlands, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and any alterations might lead to changes in their bio-physical, socio-economic and climatic conditions. Wetland dynamics as an index of land use change were studied. Satellite remote sensing was utilized to understand the periodic and seasonal dynamics of Samaspur wetlands using Landsat and RESOURCESAT-1 temporal data. Index-based (i.e., Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)) classification resulted in meaningful discrimination of wetland classes. Results indicate (i) effective water spread areas have increased to optimum capacity at 1990 due to the influence of Sharda canal, (ii) expansion of the agricultural area has led to reduction of the wetland buffer area, and (iii) increase in vegetation biomass due to pesticide-fertilizer runoff and sedimentation load. We also reiterate (i) free availability of the Landsat satellite data in public domain facilitating such monitoring studies and (ii) availability and utility of SWIR band information in wetland classification exercise. The study concludes that policy-driven measures have both long and short term impacts on land use and its natural wetland ecosystems; and the characterizing the later serves as indictor of the former and perhaps vice versa.