Utilization of Remote Sensing Data and GIS Applications for Determination of the Land Cover Change in Karbala Governorate


This study was conducted to determine the land cover changes between year 1976and year 2011 in Karbala Governorate by using an integrated approach of remotesensing data and GIS applications for investigation of the spatial and temporalchanges. A part of Karbala Governorate, whose Area is 768 km2 was selected as studyarea.Four cloud free Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+, and SPOT scenes covering the studyarea were selected for analysis. Images were acquired in years 1976, 1990, 2001, and2011 respectively. All images which mentioned above are rectified and registered inUniversal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection zone 38 N and supervised imageclassification system has been observed to classify the images in different land covercategories. Six land cover classes have been identified and used to determine thechange in land cover in study area and these classes are: Agricultural land, Waterbodies, Urban Area, Sand dunes, Bare soil, and Waterlogged Area. According to theresults obtained from statistics of classification, it was observed that most changesoccurred in heterogeneous agricultural areas. It is thought that the main reasons of thischange are increasing population pressure, increasing sand dunes, appearance andincreasing waterlogged area and changing economic activities. Those reasons havebeen led to the decrease of the agricultural areas in study area during period from year2001 to 2011.