Land Use/Cover Change at Infraz Watershed, Northwestren Ethiopia

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Abstract

Land cover is the physical and biological cover of the surface whereas land use covers the results of human activities for the exploitation of it. The land cover and landuse change is caused by both, natural and anthropogenic factors. The objective of this study was to detect land cover/use changes in Infraz Watershed. The study has used ArcGIS10 and ERDAS IMAGINE10, landsat images of 1973, 1986, 1995 and 2011 and socio-economic data to analyze land cover and landuse changes of Infraz watershed. The study has found that due to the population increase and improper agricultural activity bush and wetlands have declined where as farm and settlement lands expanded between the study years. About 1044 wetlands and 6338.7 ha of bush lands were lost and converted to cultivated and farm lands, grass lands and forest covers which were increased by 6685.3, 357.7 and 338.3 ha between the study periods respectively. There is an urgent need to limit the population growth rate and implementing land use policy in the Infraz watershed.

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Journal of Landscape Ecology

The Journal of Czech National Chapter of the Association for Landscape Ecology (CZ-IALE)

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