The Churia region of Nepal is experiencing serious environmental degradation due to landslides, monsoon flooding, land use changes, and gravel excavation. The objectives of this study were to quantify the temporal change of landslides as related to changes in land use/deforestation/urbanization, to quantify the temporal change and extent of river inundation in the Terai, to quantify the extent to which stone quarrying exacerbates the degradation process, and to generate a landslide hazard risk map. Gravel extraction and precipitation data, along with field work and geospatial methods, were used to map degradation by focusing on the centrally located districts of Bara, Rautahat, and Makwanpur. Landsat land use classifications were conducted on imagery from 1976, 1988, 1999, and 2015. A modified Normalized Difference Mid-Infrared (NDMIDIR) algorithm was created by incorporating slope, elevation, and land use types to identify landslide scars. A GIS model using weighted landslide variables derived from remote sensing and GIS methods to predict landslide susceptibility was created. These variables include hydrology, settlement, lithology, geology, precipitation, infrastructure, elevation, slope, aspect, land use, and previous landslides. Gravel excavation in 2007/2008 was nearly 700% higher than in 2001/2002. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) results showed that the study area is losing 1.03% forest cover annually; in 1977, there was 70% forest cover, but only 32% forest cover remained in 2016. The accuracy assessment of the 2015 Landsat 8 land use classification was 79%. NDMIDIR results showed that from 1988 to 2016, the total area representing landslide scars increased from 7.26km2 to 8.73 km2. The weighted variable GIS model output map indicated that 70% of the Siwalik zone and southern Lesser Himalayan zone in the three study districts have significant risk of landslides. Landslides and flooding from heavy monsoon rain, deforestation to develop agriculture and urbanization, and gravel extraction have caused rapid and ongoing environmental degradation in the Churia region of Nepal. Results provide information for disaster management and assist policy planners in landslide prone areas decrease loss of lives and property.
|Advisor:||Poudel, Durga D.|
|Commitee:||Duex, Timothy W., Richter, Carl|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geographic information science, Geology, Remote sensing|
|Keywords:||GIS, Geohazard, Nepal, Remote sensing|
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