Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 127 Issue 2 March 2018 Article ID 0019
As a catchment phenomenon, land use and land cover change (LULCC) has a great role in influencing the hydrological cycle. In this study, decadal LULC maps of 1985, 1995, 2005 and predicted-2025 of the Subarnarekha, Brahmani, Baitarani, Mahanadi and Nagavali River basins of eastern India were analyzed in the framework of the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) macro scale hydrologic model to estimate their relative consequences. The model simulation showed a decrease in ET with 0.0276% during 1985–1995, but a slight increase with 0.0097% during 1995–2005. Conversely, runoff and base flowshowed an overall increasing trend with 0.0319 and 0.0041% respectively during 1985–1995. In response to the predicted LULC in 2025, the VIC model simulation estimated reduction of ET with 0.0851% with an increase of runoff by 0.051%. Among the vegetation parameters, leaf area index (LAI) emergedas the most sensitive one to alter the simulated water balance. LULC alterations via deforestation, urbanization, cropland expansions led to reduced canopy cover for interception and transpiration that in turn contributed to overall decrease in ET and increase in runoff and base flow. This study reiterates changes in the hydrology due to LULCC, thereby providing useful inputs for integrated water resources management in the principle of sustained ecology.