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Linking geomorphologic knowledge, RS and GIS techniques for analyzing land cover and land use change: a multitemporal study in the Cointzio watershed, Mexico

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Author(s): Erna López-Granados | Manuel E. Mendoza | Daniel I. González

Journal: Ambiente e Água : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science
ISSN 1980-993X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 18;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: watershed management | Physical Geography | land cover and use change | remote sensing | GIS

ABSTRACT
It is well-established that changes in land cover and land use (LCLU) are relevant to current local and global changes that are directly linked with food security, human health, urbanization, biodiversity, trans-border migration, environmental refuges, water and soil quality, runoff and sedimentation rates, and other processes. This paper examines LCLU change processes within the Cointzio watershed (Central Mexico). The analysis covers a 28-year time period from 1975 to 2003. LCLU changes were deduced from multi-temporal remote sensing analyses (1975, 1986, 1996, 2000 and 2003). Nearly all of the LCLU changes experienced in the Cointzio watershed occurred during the 1986-1996 period. Half of the 665 km2 of the watershed have changed during this period, in what corresponds to a ten-fold increase in the rate of change as compared to the 1975-1986 and 1996-2003 periods. These massive changes are probably related to the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which limited the transit of undocumented Mexican workers to the United States of America. The methodology applied in this research constitutes a low-cost alternative for evaluating the impact of LCLU change in watersheds. The magnitude of land use change differed during the periods of analyses in the watershed, functional zones and geoforms. The methodological approach applied in this analysis integrates standard procedures to evaluate land cover and land use change in watersheds. Due to the practical value of the results, the data and information generated during the analysis have been made available to local authorities.
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