Identifying potential hotspots of land use/land cover change in the last 3 decades, Uttarakhand, NW Himalaya

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Shravi Agarwal, Vipin Kumar , Sanjeev Kumar, Yaspal Sundriyal, Dhirendra Singh Bagri, Neha Chauhan, Sameeksha Kaushik, Firoz Khan, Naresh Rana


Uttarakhand region in the NW Himalaya has experienced two extreme climatic-geomorphic events within last 10 years that killed more than 6000 people. Though these events, like many others in the Himalaya, have been attributed to climate-change and anthropogenic disturbances, identification of potential hotspots of land use/land cover change is rarely attempted to make future inferences for disaster risk reduction. An evaluation of spatio-temporal changes in land use/land cover can be used to identify such hotspots. Therefore, we analysed the spatio-temporal changes in a climatically sensitive and natural disaster-prone area (~28856 km2) of Uttarakhand (NW Himalaya), India, by comparing the satellite data of years 1991-2020 for ten land use/land cover elements to track the spatio-temporal changes over these years. Results revealed the formation of two hotspots exhibiting relatively more changes in land use/land cover pattern. Though the anthropogenic influence is observed in both hotspots, the influence of spatio-temporally changing climatic parametres is also noted. In view of frequent extreme climatic-geomorphic events, temporally increasing population and tourist pressure, and temporally changing climatic conditions, it is vital to identify hotspots having dominant changes in land use/land cover to understand the possible source of potential disasters.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Land use/Land cover; Uttarakhand; Himalaya; Climate; Anthropogenic action.


Published: 2022-07-05 20:40

Last Updated: 2022-07-06 03:40


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:
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.

Data Availability (Reason not available):
Available on request.