Estimation of Surface Thermal Influxes from Satellite Images of the Newly Developed Built-up Areas of South 24 Parganas District, West Bengal
The South 24 Parganas is the southernmost district of West Bengal. It is characterised by a dynamic condition involving constant adjustments between human livelihood and an extremely vulnerable natural environment. Several stages of land reclamation occurred during the pre-independence period—during successive occupations by the ‘Baroh Bhuniyas’ (the twelve landlords), the Mughals and the British. The process of development here faced several constraints linked to natural, social, cultural, infrastructure and economic factors. This study revolves around the observations that urbanisation precedes environmental stress in the Sundarban due to the drastic impacts of the built-up environment on the natural land character and subsequently the surface conditions. Concretisation in the name of regional development leads to adverse impacts on the local ecosystem. This study aims first to explore the extent of urbanisation in the Sundarbans region of South 24 Parganas District of West Bengal in the last two decades. This phenomenon is then to be related to changes in the land surface temperature (LST) and consequent geo-climatic stresses during the period in question. The paper reveals the rate of changes in land use and related surface temperature transformations within and around both the older settlements and the newly emerged urban areas.
KeywordsLand use Land reclamation Urbanisation Sundarbans West Bengal
The authors are grateful for the advice and supervision of Dr. Lakshminarayan Satpati, Professor, Department of Geography and Director, UGC-Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), University of Calcutta and Dr. Sumana Bandyopadhay, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calcutta. We would also like to thank University Grants Commission (UGC) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for funding our tenure as research fellows.
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