International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print

ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME


Basavarajappa H.T, Manjunatha M.C

Department of Studies in Earth Science, Centre for Advanced Studies in Precambrian Geology,
University of Mysore, Manasagangothri, Mysore-570 006, India


Wastelands are essentially understood as low-quality land from an agricultural point of view,
often referred to as degraded land. Unscientific handling of land resources has resulted in the
development of vast stretches of wastelands and also formed one of the major factors of decrease in
per capita arable land causing ecological imbalances. The present paper aims to identify the
Wastelands of Chitradurga District, Karnataka through hi-tech tools of Geoinformatics. The major
causes of land degradation and subsequent formation of wastelands can be primarily attributed to
'faculty agricultural practice and indiscriminate deforestation'. Agricultural practices include the lack
of soil conservation measures and irrigation practices that often lead to the formation of the salt
affected soils. The study was taken up to map and record the wastelands using Survey of India (SoI)
toposheets of 1:50,000 scale, IRS 1D PAN+LISS III satellite data and Google Earth software with
limited Ground Truth Check (GTC) and final wasteland layer is generated. The database provides
spatial baseline information in distribution, extent and temporal behavior of wastelands in planning
and implementation of development strategies in wastelands reclamation of the country.

Keywords: Geoinformatics, Reclamation, Wastelands and Chitradurga.


Wasteland is the low-quality land from an agricultural point of view, often referred to as
degraded land and is presently laying unutilized (except fallow land) due to inherent or imposed
disabilities related to location, environment, soil as well as current financial constraint [12].
According to National Wastelands Development Board [16] wasteland is defined as "degraded land
that can be brought under vegetative cover" with reasonable effort which is currently under-utilized
and land which is deteriorating due to lack of appropriate water and soil management or on account
of natural causes". Information on geographical location, areal extent and spatial distribution in

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ISSN 0976 – 6375(Online)
Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110
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International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

wasteland studies are essential for their effective management and sustainable development [9]. Land
has been turned into wasteland, due to several natural and biotic factors like water logging, soil
erosion, wind erosion/deposition, salinity/alkalinity, floods and unscientific methods of cultivation.
The wastelands can have numerous ramifications within any policy designed to "Rehabilitate
wastelands", as it is a policy goal in India to increase food security [10]. The wasteland areas are
mapped using geo-rectified SoI topomap and updated using satellite data & Google Earth to identify
change in their categories through Geoinformatic techniques. An investigation through RS
application has given extensive information on wasteland identification and its reclamation measures
to earth science [22,20,13] through RS and GIS analysis.


The study area lies in between 13°34' to 15°02' N latitude and 76°00' to 77°01' E longitude
with an total areal extent of 8,338 Km
(Fig.1). It includes six taluks namely, Challakere,
Chitradurga, Hiriyur, Holalkere, Hosadurga and Molkalmuru with general ground elevation of 732 m
above MSL. The study area experiences a hot, seasonally dry and tropical Savannah climate. The
study area covers the forest area of about 737 Km
[11], land under nonagricultural use is 512 Km
cultivated wasteland 216 Km
, barren and uncultivated land 470 Km
. The average annual rainfall in
the district is 574 mm (1980-2010) recorded from last three decades. The average annual rainfall is
355.6 mm (2011). The maximum temperature recorded is 370 C, while minimum is 150 C; may falls
up to 120 C during winter season (Nov-Jan). SW monsoon (June-Sep) contributes major portion of
rainfall about 194.56 mm; NE monsoon (Oct-Dec) contributes 71.12 mm (2008); winter (Jan-Feb)
60.16 mm and summer (Mar-May) 30.16 mm in the study area.

Fig.1: Location map of the study area Fig.2: Georeferenced topomap of the study area

International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME


3.1 Methods: Geoinformatic techniques encompass Survey of India (SoI) toposheets, Remote
Sensing (RS) Satellite data, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System
(GPS) in mapping of vegetation, forest cover, lithology, soil types and land use/landcover pattern in
assessing the wasteland reclamation and management. The Satellite RS data i.e., IRS (Indian Remote
Sensing) 1D PAN+LISS III of False Color Composite (FCC) is acquired for visual interpretation and
digital image processing of the study area. ArcGIS v10 and Erdas Imgine v2011 are adopted as
software tool for analyzing, integrating the baseline information database to generate thematic maps.
The variation in the Association, Texture, Shape, Size, Shadow and Pattern are involved to identify
and delineate different wasteland categories. Geoinformatic techniques are the advent hi-tech tool
that mainly helps in mapping, interpretation and integration of thematic maps in wasteland
reclamation and sustainable development for future use [14]. Wasteland identification is attributed in
collection/verification and measurement of information of different surface features in Satellite data
which are responsible for reflectance behavior patterns of wasteland categories. The final wasteland
map is updated using Google Earth Software (>5 meters resolution).

Fig.3: LISS III data of the study area Fig.4: Google Earth map of the study area

3.2 Materials

i. Topomap: 57A/12, 57B/3, 57B/4, 57B/6, 57B/7, 57B/8, 57B/9, 57B/10, 57B/11, 57B/12, 57B/13,
57B/14, 57B/15, 57B/16, 57C/1, 57C/2, 57C/5, 57C/6, 57C/9, 57C/10, 57C/13, 57G/1.
Sources of data: Survey of India (SoI) of 1:50,000 scale (Fig.2), Bangalore (year: 1975-2010) are
considered as base maps.

ii. Thematic maps: Georeferenced topomap, IRS 1D PAN+LISS-III, Google Earth, Vegetation,
Forest cover, Lithology, Soil types, Land use/land cover and final Wasteland map.
Sources of data: Geological Survey of India (GSI), Calcutta, National Bureau of Soil Survey and
Land Use Planning (NBSS & LUP), Bangalore.
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

iii. Satellite RS data: Indian Remote Sensing (IRS)-1C & 1D LISS-III (year: 2010-11, Resolution:
23.5m), PAN+LISS III (year: 2005-06, Resolution: 5.8m) (Fig.3), Google Earth (Fig.4): 5th April-
2014 with >5 meter resolution.

iv. Software analysis: Arc GIS v10, Map Info and Erdas Imagine 2011.


The vegetation map of the study area is derived from georectified SoI topomap of 1:50,000
scale with limited Ground Truth Check (GTC) and digitized using ArcGIS v10. The vegetation is
tropical and temperate with similar kinds of scrubby forest. The total cultivable land is dryland which
covers about 62% [6]. Lack of vegetation will rapidly affects the environmental degradation by water
and wind, soil erosion, soil salinization/alkalization, water logging etc. A total of 76,702 numbers of
trees (Palms, Palmyra, Conifer, Bamboo and other tress) are identified and digitized (Fig.5). Forest is
a community of living organism that contains woods, trees and large its bio-mass. The study area
includes 25 erstwhile state forest with total areal extent of 1027.94 Km
(1975-2010) (Table.1).
According to 1999 assessment of the Karnataka Forest Department, Chitradurga district holds 831
of forest cover, which is 14% of the total area of the District. Amongst, dense forest covers 38
, open forest is about 332 km
and remaining 461 km
is of Scrub forest (Fig.5) [6].

Table.1: Forest cover in the study area
Sl No Name of the forest Taluk Area in ha
1. Garaga Kaval state forest Holalkere 958.49
2. Bagganadu state forest Hiriyur 591.08
3. Gaudanahalli state forest Hiriyur 1012.57
4. Challakere state forest Challakere 1099.15
5. Obanahalli state forest Challakere 630.84
6. Jogimatti state forest Chitradurga, Holalkere &
7. Lakkihalli state forest Holalkere, Hosadurga & Hiriyur 7625.00
8. Janakal state forest Holalkere & Hosadurga 4823.81
9. Devaragudda state forest Holalkere & Hosadurga 5679.24
10. Marikanive state forest Hiriyur & Hosadurga 11198.62
11. Kamarakaval state forest Molakalmuru & Challakere 5324.29
12. Suvarnamukhi state forest Hiriyur 2504.76
13. Kudrekanive state forest Hosadurga 7505.35
14. Dodda Chellur state forest Challakere 946.53
15. Obanahalli state forest Challakere 637.70
16. Konasagara state forest Molakalmuru 1750.37
17. Hire Adavi state forest Molakalmuru 5842.60
18. Krishnarajapura state forest Molakalmuru 9754.15
19. Bandravi state forest Molakalmuru 2487.16
20. Sanjivarayanakote state forest Molakalmuru 2487.95
21. Santegudda state forest Molakalmuru 1363.69
22. Guheshwara gudda state
Chitradurga 291.01
23. Bevinahalli state forest Chitradurga 464.02
24. Niruthadi state forest Chitradurga & Holalkere 17830.06
25. Tuppadahalli state forest Holalkere 770.92
Total 73419
Source: Georeferenced topomap of the study area (1975-2010)

International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME


Any underlying lithological formation is an important factor for an engineering point of view.
The lithology map of study area are mainly consists of metasedimentary types that are digitized and
updated using satellite imagery IRS-1D PAN+LISS III through ArcGIS v10 software (Fig.6) [3,4].
The lithological formations of the study area are identified as Conglomerate, Dolerite & Amphibolite
dykes, Ferruginous chert, Granite, Granodiorite, Greywacke/Argillite, Limestone, Manganese, Meta
Ultramafite, Metabasalt, Migmatites, Pink & Grey granite, Pyroxene Granulite and Quartz Chlorite
Schists. Specific engineering constructions on particular lithological formations are very much
necessary in wasteland reclamation process.

Fig.5: Vegetation & Forest cover map Fig.6: Lithology map of the study area


Soil is the surface material that is derived from underlying parent rocks. Soil forms the basic
geological processes which are easily identifiable in the satellite imagery and helps in understanding
the nature of lithology to apply proper crop rotation on a specific soil types in wasteland
management & sustainability. Soil moisture consists of organic and inorganic materials, water and
air [7]. Adequate soil management practices are essential to obtain sustainable water yields;
otherwise salinity and water logging conditions may develop. Soils are essential units in controlling
the infiltration of rainwater and surface flow patterns. Soil map is prepared using satellite imagery
IRS-1D PAN+LISS III data [4]. as a base map through ArcGIS v10 software. Soil types in the study
area are identified as Clayey in and surrounding parts of trijunction of Hiriyur, Chitradurga and
Hosadurga; Clayey mixed soil in Molakalmuru, eastern portions of Challakere, and some parts of
Holalkere, Hosadurga and Hiriyur; Clayey Skeletal soil in western parts of Challakere, few parts of
Chitradurga, Holalkere; Loamy soil in major parts of Chitradurga, Holalkere, Hosadurga and small
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

parts of Molkalmuru; and Rocky land soil is found in central portions of Molkalmuru, Holalkere,
few parts of Chitradurga and Challakere (Fig.7).


Land is one of the most important natural resources. Land use/cover provides an idea of
relative infiltration capacity of different land cover types. The land use pattern and its spatial
distribution are the prime requisites for the preparation of an effective land use planning and
management of any area. The impact of land use and land cover over the surface and sub-surface
hydrologic condition is remarkably high. Various land use/cover classes [15] have been identified
and mapped using satellite imageries of summer, kharif and rabi season (2002-03). Different classes
of vegetation tend to slow down and intercept the surface flow of run-off water leading to maximize
infiltration. The map provides information on existing land use/land cover pattern and their spatial
distribution. The land use/land cover maps are prepared using satellite images in conjunction with
colloteral data like topomaps (Fig.8) [2,3,19].The land use/land cover classes are delineated as
agricultural lands, built-up land, forest cover, water bodies, wastelands and other lands.

Fig.7: Soil map of the study area Fig.8: Land use/Land cover map of the study area

Agricultural lands are primarily used as farming & production of food, fiber for commercial
and horticultural crops. It consists of cropland, plantations, fallow land and current shifting
cultivation areas. It includes land under corps (irrigated and un-irrigated, fallow land, plantations).
Built-up lands are the human habitation areas developed due to non-agricultural use including
buildings, transportation networks (National, State and Taluks highways), communication & utilities
in association with water, vegetation, open and mining land. Forests are the lands with tree canopy
cover of more than 10 percent and area of more than 0.5 ha. It consists of evergreen/semi-evergreen,
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

deciduous, forest plantation, scrub forests, littoral/swamp/ mangrove and grass/grazing land. The
forest cover are mainly consists of open, closed and scrub type of forests in the study area. Water
bodies are impounded water area in extent and often with a regulated flow of water. It includes man-
made reservoirs/lakes/tanks/ canals, besides natural lakes, rivers/streams and creeks. Wastelands are
the degraded land which can be brought under vegetative cover with reasonable effort. Wastelands
can result from inherent/imposed constraints such as by location, environment, chemical and
physical properties of the soil / financial / management constraints. Other lands can be treated as
miscellaneous due to their nature of occurrence, physical appearance and other characteristics in the
integrated thematic layer.


Wastelands refer to degraded lands that are currently underutilized, and are deteriorating for
lack of appropriate soil & water management or on account of natural causes. Wastelands develop
naturally or due to influence of environment, chemical and physical properties of the soil or
management constraints. Geoinformatic techniques play a rapid role in the field of land resources, its
management and development [18]. The individual thematic maps like vegetation, forest, lithology,
soil types and land use/land cover are overlaid one at a time to produce final composite map with a
particular set of information. The following wasteland categories are identified and digitized using
SoI topomap of 1:50,000 scale and updated from LISS III, Google Earth & Wasteland map of
Karnataka of 1:2,50,000 scale (2003) through ArcGIS v10 and Erdas Imagine v2011 [15].

9.a Barren/Rocky/Stony waste
The rock exposures of varying lithology often barren and devoid of soil & vegetation cover appears
as isolated hill exposures on plateau and plains. They are located in steep isolated hillocks/hill
slopes, crests, plateau and eroded plains associated with barren and exposed rocky/stony wastes,
lateritic out-crops, mining and quarrying sites. These areas appear in light gray to black tone due to
hill shadow on one side and light red on the other side due to vegetation and tonal variation is subject
to degree of soil erosion. These types of lands are noticed in Vijapura, Guddadarangavvana halli,
Madakaripura of Chitradurga taluk and few parts of Molakalmuru taluk.

9.b Degraded Forest land
The lands within notified forest boundaries with less than 20% vegetative cover are classified
as degraded/underutilized land. They appear as dark gray to light red tone during the maximum green
period and tonal variations are mainly due to the type of season of data acquisition. These are
observed in Elakuranahalli, Elladakere, Gollarahatti, Bagganadu of Hiriyur taluk, Alagavadi, Hire
Kandavadi of Chitradurga, Katamdevarakote of Challakere taluk and few parts of Molakalmuru

9.c Degraded land under plantation
Thick growth of plantation crops located outside the notified forest areas that are better
delineated using multi-season satellite data in conjunction with ground data. They exhibit dark brown
to light red tone. These are small in shape exhibiting a regular pattern and scattered. This type of
lands are identified in Sasalu, Hire Kandavadi, Arehallihatti, Amrithpura of Holalkere taluk;
Bharmasagra, Emmehatti, Bevinahalli, Bhahaddurghatta, Hosahatty, Chikkgondanhalli, Gelagatta
and Hireguntur of Chitradurga taluk.
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

Fig.9: Wasteland map of the study area

Table.2: Wasteland Category of the study area

Sl No Wasteland category Area in

1. Barren/Rocky area 70.75 0.8485
2. Degraded Forest 184.49 2.2126
3. Degraded Land under
23.39 0.2805
4. Degraded pastures/Grazing
3.33 0.0393
5. Gullied / Ravinous land 21.31 0.2555
6. Mining/industrial waste 2.51 0.0301
7. Salt affected area 80.79 0.9689
8. Scrub land 700.73 8.4040
9. Utilized land 7250.70 86.9597
Total wasteland area 1087.30 13.0394
Total geographical area 8338 99.9991
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

Fig.10: Pie-chart showing Wasteland coverage in the study area

9.d Degraded Pasture/Grazing land
Permanent pastures or meadows which have become degraded due to lack of proper soil
conservation and drainage measures in outskirts of forest boundary. They appear in light brown to
light red in tone depending on the amount of grass cover associated with the feature. They are small
in size, irregular in shape, scattered and associated with village fringes and flood plains. These types
of lands are noticed in Balenahalli and Dodderi of Challakere taluk.

9.e Gullied and Ravine land
Gullies are localized surface run-off affecting the unconsolidated material resulting in the
formation of perceptible channels causing undulating terrain. Gullies develop from rills which are
tiny water channels with a few centimeters deep, formed as a resultant impact of heavy rainfall and
wearing action of run-off generated. The word ‘ravine’ denotes gullied land containing systems of
gullies running more or less parallel to each other and entering a nearby river flowing much lower
than the surrounding table lands [17]. Ravines are basically a extensive systems of gullies developed
along river courses. This type of land is observed in Arehallihatti of Holalkere taluk and Kalkere of
Hosadurga taluk.

9.f Mining/industrial wasteland
These are the lands where large-scale mining operations, mine dumps and discharge of large
scale industrial effluents causes land degradation. The features exhibit dark gray (coal mining areas)
to light bluish to black (iron ore waste) tone based on the color of the mine dump, small to medium
in size, depending on the extent of mining area, irregular in shape with mottled texture, located at or
near active mining areas and industrial complexes. These areas are seen conspicuously around urban
areas and other areas where industrial activity is prominent. This type of lands are observed in
Megalahalli, Beemasamudra, Hanumanahalli, Sannakittadahalli, Ingaldhal, Halekal, Hosahatti and
Bahadurghatta area of the study area.

9.g Salt affected area
Salt affected land is a major problem across many parts of the world [8]. Lands that are
affected by salinity/alkalinity portray the qualities that have adverse effect on the growth of most
plants due to action or presence of excess soluble salts (saline) or high exchangeable sodium.
Salt affected lands appear in different tones of dull white to bright white on satellite data in
different geographical conditions. These lands are noticed in few parts of Molakalmuru taluk,
International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME

Hosahalli, Talaku, Balenahalli, Kammathmarikunte, Challakere, Purlehalli, Parasurampura,
ThimmannanaikanaKote, Gollahalli, Hariyabbi, Ajjikamasagara, Turuvanur, Chikkgondanhalli and
Panjaiahnahatti of the study area.

9.h Scrub land
Scrub land occupies relatively high topographic locations [21]. These areas possess shallow
and skeletal soils, at times degraded, extremes of slopes, severely eroded and lands subjected to
excessive aridity with scrubs dominating the landscape. They have a tendency for intermixing with
cropped areas [1]. They appear in light yellow to brown to greenish blue depending on the surface
moisture cover and vary in size from small to large having either contiguous or dispersed pattern.
These lands are observed in few parts of Molakalmuru and Chitradurga, and most part of Hiriyur,
Hosadurga and Challakere.


With growing needs of development and exploding population often leads to over-
exploitation of natural resources, including depletion of soil fertility and degradation of land
resources which intern creates complex problematic issues in country’s growth and development.
The main causes in wastelands are unskilled irrigation, over grazing, over-cultivation, deforestation
and dumping / mine wastes. The proper development and reclamation of wastelands need statistical
information and consolidated maps of suitable scale depicting the spatial distribution pattern.
Geoinformatics techniques are an advent hi-tech tool over conventional techniques on account of
reliability in cost effectiveness and time being method. Bundings, gully plugging, pot drip irrigation
system, agro-forestry, soil, land & water conservation, long-term sustainable utilization of natural
resources also helps in land reclamation. To prevent further land degradation, it needs appropriate
management strategies for solving complex issues in understanding the potentiality of land and water


Geoinformatic analysis provides more consistent database and accurate baseline information
on wasteland planning, successful model analysis, prediction, validation & developmental activities
in infrastructure, scientific mapping of land resources and its beneficiaries. Spatial information of
wastelands at taluk-level can be utilized for various reclamation measures in effective planting of
suitable tree/crop species in degraded forest areas. The forest cover is about 737 Km
, land under
nonagricultural use is 512 Km
, cultivated wasteland 216 Km
, barren and uncultivated land 470
. The study area holds 831 km
of forest cover, which is 14% of the total area of the District.
Amongst, dense forest covers 38 km
, open forest is about 332 km
and remaining 461 km
is of
Scrub forest. Scrub land is the largest wasteland category of about 700.73Km
. Comprehensive
model & periodic scientific surveys are much needed action in development of ecological restoration
and to meet essential needs of fuel, fodder, wood and timber. Use of inorganic chemicals and
insecticides in the fields should minimize to convert the wasteland into arable lands. Specific crop
rotation methods on most favorable locations and construction of Artificial Recharge Structures
(ARS) help in land reclamation analysis. Increasing tree cover, productive use of land resources
should be done due to increase in population and in order to overcome the developmental activities
of wasteland reclamation. Urban planning, management and evelopment is necessary due to
population increase to avoid building and other constructional works on fertile soil/lands which are
meant for cultivation purpose only.

International Journal of Computer Engineering and Technology (IJCET), ISSN 0976-6367(Print),
ISSN 0976 - 6375(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 99-110 © IAEME


The Authors are in depthly acknowledged Prof. S. Govindaiah, Chairman; DoS in Earth
Science, University of Mysore, Mysore-06; NRDMS, Zilla Panchayat, Chitradurga; NRSC-ISRO,
Hyderabad; Survey of India (SoI), Bangalore; Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), CGWB,
Bangalore and UGC-MRP, New Delhi for financial support.


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