Characterization and assessment of natural resources for development planning and technology transfer have been one of the major activities in the Indian arid zone and, as of now, over 87,000 km2 of arid Rajasthan have been surveyed in this way. All along, aerial photointerpretation has played a key role by greatly enhancing the speed and accuracy of this endeavor. Whereas landforms, soils and land use, and to some extent vegetation are easily and directly discernible from the photographs, mapping of other resources is facilitated mainly by the relationship that they have with the land attributes appreciable from the imagery. Experience has shown that groundwater exploration efforts can be made more purposeful by restricting detailed investigations to areas indicated as promising by photoanalysis. The usefulness of multispectral data from Landsat in source survey and monitoring have been demonstrated. Particular advantage from repetitive coverage afforded by satellite is helpful in estimating biomass and planning rational utilization.Unlike many arid zones, Rajasthan has high human and livestock pressures and under both, the major land uses, namely arable farming and open grazing, the present management is somewhat exploitative of the natural assets. However, according to present indications, the rate of deterioration fortunately is slow. Therefore, monitoring this change while faced with a large interannual variation in various desertification manifestations, is nothing short of a challenge. The present approach requires conjunctive use of closely spaced ground observations in selected sample sites, repetitive low altitude photography, and satellite sensing for large area applications.
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- Natural resource survey and environmental monitoring in arid-Rajasthan using remote sensing
H. S. Mann
K. A. Shankaranarayan
R. P. Dhir
- Springer Netherlands
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