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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Optimal land use/land cover classification using remote sensing imagery for hydrological modeling in a Himalayan watershed
Author(s): Sameer Saran; Geert Sterk; Suresh Kumar
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Paper Abstract

Land use/land cover is an important watershed surface characteristic that affects surface runoff and erosion. Many of the available hydrological models divide the watershed into Hydrological Response Units (HRU), which are spatial units with expected similar hydrological behaviours. The division into HRU's requires good-quality spatial data on land use/land cover. This paper presents different approaches to attain an optimal land use/land cover map based on remote sensing imagery for a Himalayan watershed in northern India. First digital classifications using maximum likelihood classifier (MLC) and a decision tree classifier were applied. The results obtained from the decision tree were better and even improved after post classification sorting. But the obtained land use/land cover map was not sufficient for the delineation of HRUs, since the agricultural land use/land cover class did not discriminate between the two major crops in the area i.e. paddy and maize. Subsequently the digital classification on fused data (ASAR and ASTER) were attempted to map land use/land cover classes with emphasis to delineate the paddy and maize crops but the supervised classification over fused datasets did not provide the desired accuracy and proper delineation of paddy and maize crops. Eventually, we adopted a visual classification approach on fused data. This second step with detailed classification system resulted into better classification accuracy within the 'agricultural land' class which will be further combined with topography and soil type to derive HRU's for physically-based hydrological modeling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2009
PDF: 16 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 3(1) 033551 doi: 10.1117/1.3253618
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 3, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Sameer Saran, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (India)
Geert Sterk, Utrecht Univ. (Netherlands)
Suresh Kumar, Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (India)


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