Spatial Modeling of Land Cover/Land Use Change and Its Effects on Hydrology Within the Lower Mekong Basin

  • Kel N. Markert
  • Robert E. Griffin
  • Ashutosh S. Limaye
  • Richard T. McNider
Chapter
Part of the Springer Remote Sensing/Photogrammetry book series (SPRINGERREMO)

Abstract

The Lower Mekong Basin is an economically and ecologically important region that is vulnerable to effects of climate variability and land cover changes. To effectively develop long-term plans for addressing these changes, responses to climate variability and land cover change must be evaluated. This research aims to investigate how the land cover change will affect hydrologic parameters both spatially and temporally within the Lower Mekong Basin. The research goal is achieved by (1) modeling land cover change for a baseline land cover change scenario as well as changes in land cover with increases in forest or agriculture and (2) using modeled land cover data as inputs into the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model to simulate the changes to the hydrologic system. The VIC model outputs were analyzed against historic values to understand to what degree land cover changes affect the hydrology of the region and where within the region these changes occur. This study found that increasing forest area will slightly decrease discharge and increase evapotranspiration whereas increasing agriculture area increases discharge and decreases evapotranspiration. These findings will benefit the Lower Mekong Basin by supporting individual country, as well as basin-wide, policy for effective land management for water resources management changes as well as policy for the basin as a whole.

Keywords

Land cover changes Hydrology changes Lower Mekong Basin 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Mekong River Commission for supplying the observed discharge data used in this study. A special thanks goes to Faisal Hossain for his assistance with setting up the hydrologic model. The authors are grateful to Dan Irwin, Eric Anderson, Africa Flores, Lee Ellenburg, Larry Carey, Maury Estes, and others for their support and valuable comments. This work was funded through the NASA-SERVIR program part of the Capacity Building program of NASA Applied Sciences as part of K.N.M. graduate work.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kel N. Markert
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert E. Griffin
    • 3
  • Ashutosh S. Limaye
    • 4
  • Richard T. McNider
    • 3
  1. 1.NASA SERVIR Science Coordination OfficeMarshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Earth System Science CenterUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsvilleUSA
  4. 4.NASA Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA

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