Impact of LULC change on the runoff, base flow and evapotranspiration dynamics in eastern Indian river basins during 1985–2005 using variable infiltration capacity approach

  • Pulakesh Das
  • Mukunda Dev Behera
  • Nitesh Patidar
  • Bhabagrahi Sahoo
  • Poonam Tripathi
  • Priti Ranjan Behera
  • S K Srivastava
  • Partha Sarathi Roy
  • Praveen Thakur
  • S P Agrawal
  • Y V N Krishnamurthy


As a catchment phenomenon, land use and land cover change (LULCC) has a great role in influencing the hydrological cycle. In this study, decadal LULC maps of 1985, 1995, 2005 and predicted-2025 of the Subarnarekha, Brahmani, Baitarani, Mahanadi and Nagavali River basins of eastern India were analyzed in the framework of the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) macro scale hydrologic model to estimate their relative consequences. The model simulation showed a decrease in ET with 0.0276% during 1985–1995, but a slight increase with 0.0097% during 1995–2005. Conversely, runoff and base flow showed an overall increasing trend with 0.0319 and 0.0041% respectively during 1985–1995. In response to the predicted LULC in 2025, the VIC model simulation estimated reduction of ET with 0.0851% with an increase of runoff by 0.051%. Among the vegetation parameters, leaf area index (LAI) emerged as the most sensitive one to alter the simulated water balance. LULC alterations via deforestation, urbanization, cropland expansions led to reduced canopy cover for interception and transpiration that in turn contributed to overall decrease in ET and increase in runoff and base flow. This study reiterates changes in the hydrology due to LULCC, thereby providing useful inputs for integrated water resources management in the principle of sustained ecology.


VIC model land use Mahanadi River basin hydrograph ILULC-DMP decadal scale 



Thanks are due to IIRS for all the necessary facilities provided for this research work. The ILULC-DMP modeling platform provided for LULC modeling and prediction, and their expert opinion were precious and valuable.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pulakesh Das
    • 1
  • Mukunda Dev Behera
    • 1
  • Nitesh Patidar
    • 2
  • Bhabagrahi Sahoo
    • 3
  • Poonam Tripathi
    • 1
  • Priti Ranjan Behera
    • 3
  • S K Srivastava
    • 4
  • Partha Sarathi Roy
    • 5
  • Praveen Thakur
    • 4
  • S P Agrawal
    • 4
  • Y V N Krishnamurthy
    • 6
  1. 1.Centre for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land SciencesIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Civil Engineering DepartmentIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.School of Water ResourcesIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  4. 4.Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (ISRO)DehradunIndia
  5. 5.University of HyderabadHyderabadIndia
  6. 6.National Remote Sensing CentreHyderabadIndia

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