Landscape Approach for Quantifying Land Use Land Cover Change (1972–2006) and Habitat Diversity in a Mining Area in Central India (Bokaro, Jharkhand)

Sumedha Malaviya, Madhushree Munsi, Gracy Oinam, Pawan Kumar Joshi | 12 November 2009


The rate and intensity of land use land cover (LULC) change has increased considerably during the past couple of decades. Mining brings significant alterations in LULC specifically due to its impact on forests. Parts of Central India are well endowed with both forests and minerals. Here, the conflict between human interests and nature has intensified over time. Monitoring and assessment of such conflicts are important for land management and policy making. Remote sensing and Geographical Information System have the potential to serve as accurate tools for environmental monitoring. Understanding the importance of landscape metrics in land use planning is challenging but important. These metrics calculated at landscape, class, and patch level provide an insight into changing spatiotemporal distribution of LULC and ecological connectedness. In the present study, geospatial tools in conjunction with landscape metrics have been used to assess the impact of coal mining on habitat diversity. LULC maps, change detection analysis, and landscape metrics have been computed for the four time periods (1972, 1992, 2001, and 2006). There has been a significant decline in forest cover especially of the Sal-mixed forests, both in area as well as quality, due to flouted mining regulations. Reclamation of mined lands has also been observed in some of the areas since 2001.