This study integrated multi-temporal Landsat images, the Markov-Cellular Automation (CA) model, and socioeconomic factors to analyze the historical and future farmland loss in the Delhi metropolitan area, one of the most rapidly urbanized areas in the world. Accordingly, the major objectives of this study were: (1) to classify the land use and land cover (LULC) map using multi-temporal Landsat images from 1994 to 2014; (2) to develop and calibrate the Markov-CA model based on the Markov transition probabilities of LULC classes, the CA diffusion factor, and other ancillary factors; and (3) to analyze and compare the past loss of farmland and predict the future loss of farmland in relation to rapid urban expansion from the year 1995 to 2030. The predicted results indicated the high accuracy of the Markov-CA model, with an overall accuracy of 0.75 and Kappa value of 0.59. The predicted results showed that urban expansion is likely to continue to the year of 2030, though the rate of increase will slow down from the year 2020. The area of farmland has decreased and will continue to decrease at a relatively stable rate. The Markov-CA model provided a better understanding of the past, current, and future trends of LULC change, with farmland loss being a typical change in this region. The predicted result will help planners to develop suitable government policies to guide sustainable urban development in Delhi, India.
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