Assessment of land surface temperature dynamics over the Bharathapuzha River Basin, India

Abstract

Anthropogenic interventions have altered the natural environment and affected many of its physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. Changes in land use–land cover (LULC) are one of the main drivers that alter the hydrologic cycle and cause significant impacts on local, regional, and even the global climate system. It is now widely recognised and accepted that climate change is one of the gravest problems that our planet Earth is facing at present. This study analyses the impact of LULC dynamics on the spatial and temporal variation of land surface temperature (LST) in an inter-state river basin, which also happens to be the largest river basin in the state of Kerala, India, viz. the Bharathapuzha river basin, during the period 1990–2017. LST time-series analysis (derived from Landsat) revealed that 98% of the river basin experienced LST less than 298 \(K\) in January 1990. Over time, along with changes in LULC, LST also increased; in 2017, about 7.82% of the river basin experienced LST greater than 312 \(K\). A notable change in LULC that occurred during this period was the drastic increase in areas with high albedo. The seasonal curves of LST derived from MODIS data are strong evidence of the devastating impacts of change in LULC on LST and, in turn, on climate change. The major spatial and temporal components of change in LST in the study region were identified by principal component analysis (PCA). The results of this spatiotemporal analysis spread over a period of 28 years can be used for formulating sustainable development policies and mitigation strategies against extreme climatic events in the river basin.

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Availability of data and material

The data that support the findings of this study are openly available at https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/ and https://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/.

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Acknowledgement

The authors acknowledge the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Explorer data portal, NASA Level – 1 and Atmosphere Archive & Distribution System (LAADS) Distributed Active Archive Centre (DAAC) and Land and Water Development Division, FAO-UNESCO, Rome, for providing free satellite and soil database for conducting this study. We are extremely grateful to the two anonymous reviewers who helped to enhance the quality and clarity of the manuscript by their insightful and critical comments and suggestions.

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JJ performed conceptualisation, methodology, formal analysis, writing—original draft. CNR contributed to writing—review and editing, investigation. SGT was involved in supervision, resources, writing—review and editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jisha John.

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The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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The software purchased by the Institute is used for this study (ArcGIS and Terrset).

Additional information

Communicated by Savka Dineva, PhD (CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF)/Maya Ilieva (ASSOCIATE EDITOR).

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John, J., Chithra, N. & Thampi, S.G. Assessment of land surface temperature dynamics over the Bharathapuzha River Basin, India. Acta Geophys. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11600-021-00593-7

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Keywords

  • Land use–land cover change
  • Landsat
  • MODIS
  • Principal component analysis
  • Multichannel singular spectrum analysis