You are on page 1of 9

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010

Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

Landuseandlandcoverchangedetectionthroughremotesensingapproach:
AcasestudyofKodaikanaltaluk,Tamilnadu
Prakasam.C
DepartmentofGeography,TheUniversityofBurdwan
cprakasam@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
Landuseandlandcoverisanimportantcomponentinunderstandingtheinteractionsof
thehumanactivitieswiththeenvironmentandthusitisnecessarytobeabletosimulatechanges.
Empirical observation revealed a change in land use land cover classification in Kodaikanal
taluk, a partofWestern Ghats located in Tamilnadu state. Inthis paper an attempt is made to
studythechanges in landuseand landcover in KodaikanalTalukover40 yearsperiod(1969
2008). The study has been done through remote sensing approach using SOI Taluk map of
Kodaikanal (1969), and Land Sat imageries of May 2003 and April 2008. The land use land
cover classification was performed based on the Survey of India Kodaikanal Taluk map and
Satellite imageries. GIS software is used to prepare the thematic maps. Ground truth
observationswerealsoperformedtochecktheaccuracyoftheclassification.Thepresentstudy
hasbroughttolightthatforestareathatoccupiedabout70percentoftheTaluksareain1969
hasdecreasedto33percentin2008.Agriculturalland,Builtuparea,HarvestedlandandWaste
landalsohaveexperiencedchange.Builtuplands(Settlement)haveincreasedfrom3percentto
21 per cent of the total area. Kodaikanal area is identified as one of the biodiversity area in
India.ProperlanduseplanningisessentialforasustainabledevelopmentofKodaikanalTaluk.
Keywords:Landuse,Landcover,ChangeAnalysis
1.Introduction
Landuseandlandcover(LULC)changeisamajorissueofglobalenvironmentchange.
Scientificresearchcommunitycalledforsubstantivestudyoflandusechangesduringthe1972
StockholmConferenceontheHumanEnvironment,andagain20yearslater,atthe1992United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). At the same time,
InternationalGeosphereandBiosphereProgramme(IGBP)andInternationalHumanDimension
Programme (IHDP) co organized a working group to set up research agenda and promote
researchactivityforLULCchanges.Landuse/landcovermappingisessentialcomponentwhere
inotherparametersareintegratedontherequirementbasistodrivevariousdevelopmentalindex
for land and water resource. Land use refers to mans activities and the varied uses which are
carriedonoverlandandlandcoverreferstonaturalvegetation,waterbodies,rock/soil,artificial
coverandothersnoticedontheland(NRSA,1989).LandCover,definedastheassemblageof
bioticandabioticcomponentsontheearthssurfaceisoneofthemostcrucialpropertiesofthe
earthsystem.Landcoveristhatwhichcoversthesurfaceoftheearthandlandusedescribeshow
the land cover is modified. Land cover includes: water,snow, grassland, forest, and bare Soil.
LandUseincludesagriculturalland,builtupland,recreationarea,wildlifemanagementareaetc.

150

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

The Land cover reflects the biophysical state of the earths surface and immediate subsurface,
thus embracing the soil material, vegetation, and water. Land use refers to man's activities on
landwhicharedirectlyrelatedtotheland.Landuseandlandcoveraredynamic.Changesmay
involvethenatureorintensityofchangebutmayalsoincludespatial (forestabatementatvillage
level,orforalargescaleagroindustrialplant),andtimeaspects.Landuse/Landcoverchanges
alsoinvolvethemodification,eitherdirectorindirect,ofnaturalhabitatsandtheirimpactonthe
ecologyofthearea.
Land degradationresults mainly due to population pressure which leads to intense land
use without proper management practices. Over population makes people move towards
sensitive areas like highlands. In such areas land use without considering the slope and
erodibilityleadstosevereerosionandrelatedproblems.Theinfluenceofroadconstructionand
other comparable disturbances of landscape on erosion and on landslides, and other mass
movementsonhillyareaarewellknown.
Applicationofremotelysenseddatamadepossibletostudythechangesinlandcoverin
less time, at low cost and with better accuracy (Kachhwaha, 1985) in association with
GeographicalInformationSystem(GIS)thatprovidesuitableplatform fordataanalysis,update
andretrieval(Staretal.1997McCrackeretal.1998Chilar2000).Spaceborneremotelysensed
data may be particularly useful in developing countries where recent and reliable spatial
information is lacking (Dong et al. 1997). Remote sensing technology and geographic
informationsystem(GIS)provideefficientmethodsforanalysisoflanduseissuesandtoolsfor
landuseplanningandmodeling.Byunderstandingthedrivingforcesoflandusedevelopmentin
thepast,managingthecurrentsituationwithmodernGIStools,andmodelingthefuture,oneis
abletodevelopplansformultipleusesofnaturalresourcesandnatureconservation. Thechange
inanyformoflanduseislargelyrelatedeitherwiththeexternalforcesandthepressurebuiltup
withinthesystem(BishtandKothyari,2001).
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu. In this study area
majornaturalresourceisforest.Becauseofhumanactivitiestheextentofthelandunderforestis
getting reduced. In the same way land used for cultivation is also decreasing. But at the same
time land under built up area is increasing. Recently the functioning of the real estates people
andpropertypromotersarebringingaseriousdisastertoforestareaandagriculturalland.Thisis
anunhealthysituationoflandmanagement.Inthiscontextstudiesonlanduselandcoverchange
detectionareessentialtounderstandtheexistingsituationandplanforthefuture.
2.StudyArea
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular hill stations in Tamil Nadu. It is a striking hill
resortonthePalani hills intheDindiguldistrictofTamilNadu.Located120Km/75 mileaway
from Madurai, Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill station at an altitude of about 2133 m on the
southerntipofupperPalanihillsinTamilNaduintheWesternGhats.Withherwoodedslopes,
mightyrocks,enhancingwaterfallsandabeautifullake,Kodaikanalwillmesmerizeanyvisitor.
Kodaikanal Taluk geographically located in west part of Dindigul district, it lies between
100638N to 1002657N Latitudes and 7701600E to 7704456E longitudes, its covering
1081.33sq.km(108133Hectares)(Fig1).KodaikanalislocatedinthePalaniHillswhicharea
directbranchoftheWesternGhats.Interestinglyenough,theWesternGhatsareconsideredtobe
theoldestmountainrangeintheworld,composedofrockthatissaidtobebillionsofyearsold.

151

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

Studyareaadministrativelylocatedinsouthdirectionof PalaniTaluk,westdirectionofDindigul
Taluk,eastdirectionofUdamalpetTalukandnortheastpartofKeralaState.Thetemperatureof

Figure1:Imageshowingthelocationofstudyarea
Kodaikanalisquasitemperate,withsummer(AprilMay)temperaturestouching24Cmaximum,
13C minimum. Winter (DecemberJanuary) temperatures hover between 16C maximum and
7Cminimum.Rainfalliswelldistributedthroughouttheyear,withanaverageprecipitationof
1300mm.annually.TheclimateofKodaikanalisveryunique,withatemperatefall,winter,and
spring and a mild summer. Kodaikanal also receives a large amount of rainfall every year,
makingitanidealenvironmentforcultivation.Therefore,manyvarietiesoffruitsandvegetables
aregrownintheKodaikanalregion,manyofwhichcanonlybegrownhereincluding:peaches,
pears, grapes, plums, guava, jackfruit, hillbanana, passion fruit, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic,
carrots, and coffee. Many other varieties of plants inhabit the area including blue gum,
eucalyptus, pine, walnuts and other fruit trees which are used for cultivation. The total
populationofthestudyareaisabout58203personsconsistingof9752malesand28451females
accordingto2001census.

152

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

3.Objectives
Themainobjectiveofthepresentpaperistoanalysethenatureandextentlanduse/land
coverchanges in KodaikanalTaluk inthepast40 yearsandtoidentifythe main forces behind
thechanges.
4. Methodology
Multi temporal satellite data set observed by LANDSAT 5, Thematic Mapper (TM),
LANDSAT 4, and Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) and Survey of India Taluk map drawn on
1:63360scalewereusedfortheanalysis(Table1).TMandMSSare opticalsensorswhichhas7
and4multispectralbandsbetweenvisibleandinfraredradiations.
Table1:Spatialdatasources
Data
LandSat 5(TM)
LandSat 4(MSS)
SOITalukMap

Month ofObservation
2008April
2003May
1969(KodaikanalTaluk)

SpatialResolution/Scale
30m
30m
1:63360

Theresolutionis30meters/pixel.Digitallanduse/landcoverclassificationthroughsupervised
classification method, based on the field knowledge is employed to perform the classification.
Arc GIS 9.2 and Erdas Imagine 9.2 are powerful tools for extracting the land use, land cover
layer, from Taluk map and satellite imageries. The land use land cover classes include
agriculture land,harvested land,wasteland, forest,builtup(settlement,road),waterbodiesand
cloudcoverareas.Thisclassificationisperformedbasedon theclassificationschemeof National
RemoteSensingCenter(NRSC),DepartmentofSpace,GovtofIndia.
5.ResultandDiscussion
Kodaikanal Taluk is a hilly area with forest cover as the main natural resource. The
findings of the present investigation are presented in table 2. Most of the forest lands are
reserved and dense forest. But day by day forest lands are converted to builtup (settlements,
road, tourists amenities) and agricultural land. According to SOI Taluk map of the year 1969
forestcoveredalmost70percentofthestudyarea.(Table2)Thishasdecreasedto46percent
in 2003 (May Land Sat (MSS) Imageries) and 33 per cent in 2008 (Land sat, TM data). It is
worth observing that in the 40 years almost 50 per cent (Fig 2, 3, 4&Table2) of the forest
landshavegottransformedtoAgriculturalland,HarvestedandBuiltupland.Becauseofhuman
populationforestlandgotconvertedtoforestPlantation,SettlementandRoad.
Table2:KodaikanalTaluk:Areaunderlanduseandlandcover
Sl.No.
1
2
3
4

Lu/Lc
Forest
Agriculture
WasteLand
Builtup

1969
Hectares
%
75200.00
69.54
21540.00
19.92
5296.63
4.90
3489.00
3.23

2003May
Hectares
%
49700.00
45.96
28573.20
26.43
4415.00
4.08
20302.90
18.78

2008April
Hectares
%
35700.00
33.02
37905.50
35.05
4012.00
3.71
23280.00
21.53

153

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380
5 HarvestedLand
6 Waterbodies
Total

2409.00
198.37
108133

2.23
0.18
100

4782.00
359.90
108133

4.42
0.33
100

7071.00
164.45
108133

6.54
0.15
100

Source:Computedbytheauthor.
Agriculture landoccupies sizeable area. Vegetables, cardamom, pepper, and coffee are
the major agricultural crops. The cultivation of these cash crops is more profitable to farmers.
Agriculturallandwhichcovered20percentofthelandin1969hasincreasedto26percentin
the yearof2003andto35percent in2008. From figure2,3and4 itcould beobservedthat
forest lands got convertedto Agricultural land Wattle plantation. Cardamom plantation, mixed
plantation, Pepper Cardamom and coffee mixed plantation are the major type of use in
agricultural land. Wattle plantation covered Arankulai Malai, Chendanur Malai, Pukadu Malai,
Periya Malai and Manarattan Kanal. Coffee cultivation is seen in Periyur, Pachalur, Vilpatti,
KamankovaMalai,Ganguranadai,KamanurandPannaikkadu.ThandigudiandMangalamkombu
havecardamomcultivation.Cardamomandcoffeeintercroppingisnoticedin Periar.
Builtup land includes settlements, roads and tourist places. Kodaikanal is a famous
touristplaceinsouthIndia. Duetotouristactivitieslandunderhotels,lodges,gardensandwaste
dumpingplaceshaveincreased.Intheyear1969builtuplandcovered3.23percentofthetotal
areathishasincreasedto18.78percentin2003andto21.53percentin2008.Hereforestlands
are converted to builtup land. In few areas agricultural land also got transformed to builtup
area.Harvestedlandcovered2.23percentoflandin1969,increasedto4.42percentin2003and
to6.54percentlandin2008(Fig2,3,4& Table2). Thisgradual increasingofHarvestedland
maybeattributedtotheprocedureofleavingthelandwithoutcultivationforsometime.Asthe
observation period is namely April and May the post harvest season the extent of Waste land
might have increased. Waste lands are not suitable for agriculture and other human activities.
Theselandshaveverysteepslopeandareassusceptibletolandslide.Wastelandscovered4.9
percentin 1969,4.08percentin 2008and3.7percentin2008. (Fig2,3,4 & Table2)

Figure2:LanduselandcovermapofKodaikanal1969

154

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

Figure3:LanduselandcovermapofKodaikanal2003

Figure2:LanduselandcovermapofKodaikanal2008

155

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

WaterBodies included lakes,reservoirs,ponds,riversandstreams. Waterbodiescoveredonly


0.18 per cent o of the study area land in 1969 and increased to 0.33 per cent in 2003 but
decreasedto0.15percentin 2008(Fig2,3,4& Table2).Thisfluctuationmaybeduetotherain
fallinthemonthofMayevenwaterloggedareasinthesouthwestpartofstudyareamighthave
got classified under water bodies. Kodaikanal Taluk a hilly area is also the catchments of the
rivers and odais. Major water bodies include Kodaikanal Lake, Berijam Lake, Kudiraiyar,
Kumbur, Porandalar, Kallar, Tevankara, Talaryar, Manjalar, Vattar, Selambar, Ohtnnapiar and
UnvanapiRivers,Vannatti Odai,andShurpanOdais. Figure5representsthedistributionofland
uselandcoverdistributionduringthethreeperiodsinthestudyarea.

KODAIKANALTALUKDISTRIBUTIONOF
LANDUSE/LANDCOVER

AreainPercentage

80

1969

60

2003
2008
40

20

0
Forest

Agriculture Wasteland

Builtup

LandUse/LandCover

Harvested
Land

Water
bodies

Figure5:Distributionoflanduselandcoverdistributionduringthethreeperiodsinthestudy
area.
6.Conclusion
KodaikanalisafamoushillstationinsouthIndiathemajorsourceofincomeisthroughtourism.
ThemajorlanduseinKodaikanalTalukisforests.Butthelandunderforestcoverhas
experiencedadecliningtrendinthepastfortyyears.HereforestlandconvertedtoAgricultural
land,Builtup,andHarvestedlandduetothischangeswelossournaturalecosystemand
biodiversityalso.Theincreaseinagriculturallandisawelcomingtrend.Butempirical
observationrevealsthatduetoincreaseincostofcultivation,problemsduetoshortageoflabor,
156

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

supplyoflowqualityadulteratedfertilizersandpricefluctuationin themarketthefarmersprefer
toselltheirlandtopropertypromoters.Hencethereisariskofdeclineintheextentofland
underagricultureinthenearfuture.Theincreaseintheareaunderbuiltuplandsmayleadtoa
lotofenvironmentalandecologicalproblems.
TosumupitcouldbestatedthatKodaikanalTalukoneofthemajorbiodiversityzones
of the countryis a under the threatof environmental and ecological problems due to improper
management of land, the free gift of nature. Hence government should come forward to take
effective measures to protect the land under forest and agriculture in Kodaikanal Taluk. Here
proper land use planning is needed other wise we loss our natural resources ie forest, water
bodies.
Acknowledgement
Author express thanks to his M.Phil supervisor Dr. A. Santhakumari, Professor of
Geography,SchoolofEarthandAtmosphericSciences,MaduraiKamaraj University,Madurai,
India,forgivenguidelineswrittenthispaper.
7.References
1. Bisht, B.S. and Kothyari, B.P. (2001). LandCover Change Analysis of Garur Ganga
WatershedUsingGIS/RemoteSensingTechnique.,I.IndianSoc.RemoteSensing,29(3):
165174.
2. Blaser, T.J., Lyon, R.J. and Lank, K (1992). Updating a Land Planning Database from
Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper Data: Geographic Information Systems and Mapping
PracticesandStandards, ASTMSTP1126,A.I.Johnson,C.B.PetterssonandJ.Fulton,
Eds., AmericanSocietyforTestingandMaterials,Philadelphia,pp.132154.
3. Chilar J. (2000). Land cover mapping of large areas from satellites: status and research
priorities.InternationalJournalofRemoteSensing,21(67):10931114
4. Civco,D.L.(1989).Knowledgebased landuseand landcovermapping. inProc.ofthe
1989AnnualMeetingoftheAmericanSocietyforPhotogrammetryandRemoteSensing,
Baltimore,MD.pp.276291.
5. Kachhwala TS. (1985). Temporal monitoring of forest land for change detection and
forest cover mapping through satellite remote sensing. In: Proceedings ofthe 6th Asian
Conf.OnRemoteSensing.Hyderabad,pp7783.
6. Panigrahy, S., Parihar, J.s., Patel, N.K., Dadhwal, V.K., Medhavy, T.T., Ghose, B.K.,
Ravi, N., Pani, K.C., Panigraphy, B.K., Sridhar, V.N., Mohanty, R.R., Nanada, S.K.,
Tripathy,P.K.,Misra,H.P.,Bhatt,S.R.,Oza,S.,Sudhakar,S.K.,ShudhaKumarandDas,
P.K(1991).RiceacerageestimationforOrissausingremotelysenseddata,Journalofthe
IndianSocietyofRemoteSensing,19(1),323327.

157

INTERNATIONALJOURNALOFGEOMATICSANDGEOSCIENCESVolume1,No2,2010
Copyright2010AllrightsreservedIntegratedPublishingservices

ResearchArticleISSN0976 4380

7. Prakasam.CandBiplabBiswas(2009).Landuse,LandCoverChangeStudyinAusgram
I&IIBlocks,BurdwanDist,WestBengalUsingRemoteSensingandGIS.Indian(2009)
JournalofLandscapeSystemsandEcologicalStudiesVol.32(2).
8. Rajan,K.S.andShibasaki,R.,(2000).AGISBasedIntegratedLandUse/CoverChange
Model To Study Human Land Interactions. In: International Archives of
PhotogrammetryandRemoteSensing,Vol.XXXIIIPartB7(3),pp.12121219.
9. Star JL, Estes JE, McGwire KC, (1997).Integration of geographic information systems
andremotesensing.NewYork,NY:CambridgeUniversityPress.
10. Zhou,J.andD.L.Civco.(1998).AwavelettransformmethodtomergeLandsatTMand
SPOTPanchromaticData. InternationalJournalofRemoteSensing19(4):743757.

158