Land Use / Land Cover Change Detection and Analysis of the Upper Guadalupe River, Central Texas
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The study was conducted to detect the land use/ cover changes in the upper Guadalupe River basin, located in central Texas over an analysis period from 1987 to 2017. Surface water bodies, vegetation, urban areas and agricultural land forms were studied for the change detection. Satellite images obtained from the USGS website, were processed and classified using ERDAS Imagine software. Based on the classified images, changes were detected for 10-year intervals. Results showed a clear decline in water bodies and most riparian vegetation due to rapid urbanization and the expansion of agricultural lands; however, the changes were mostly contributed by the growth of structural developments, causing loss of 14% of the total studied water bodies. These changes could be attributed to population increase, influences of larger nearby cities and the availability of water for drinking and irrigation. While water and urbanization showed graduality in their change, vegetation and agriculture changes were very rapid. Improved management relative to land use/ land cover changes may reduce their impacts on riparian corridors and water resources. However, before generalizing solutions to the problem, further research would need to be done to identify direct impacts from the results of this study.