Land evaluation by integrating remote sensing and GIS for cropping system analysis in a watershed
D. Martin1,* and S. K. Saha2
National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Regional Centre, IARI Campus, New Delhi 110 012, India 2 Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, 4, Kalidas Road, Dehradun 248 001, India
Quantitative land evaluation procedures, namely USDA Land Capability Classification (LCC) and FAO Land Evaluation Procedure for Soil Site Suitability for various land utilization types have been used to assess the land suitability for different crops and for generating cropping pattern for kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons in a watershed. The database on soil, land use/land cover rainfall, and temperature was generated from data derived from Landsat TM remote sensing satellite and soil survey to perform an integrated analysis in the geographic information system environment. Arable and non-arable lands were delineated in the watershed using the USDA LCC and non-arable areas were masked for removal from future analysis. Different land quality parameters, viz. soil texture, depth, erosion, slope, flooding and course fragments under various land units were evaluated for a number of crops. Subsequently all of them were integrated using a sequence of logical operations to generate the land suitability maps for various crops. Kharif and rabi season cropping patterns were developed by integrating crop suitability maps for the winter and summer seasons separately. Finally, cropping system maps for the watershed were obtained by integrating the two season cropping sequences within the crop calendar. Results indicated that the present agricultural area of 47% could be increased to 71% by adopting scientific land evaluation methods for watershed development. It was also found that better landuse options could be implemented in different land units as the conventional land evaluation methods suffer from limitation of...