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Quantifying the Spatiotemporal Pattern of Urban Expansion and Hazard and Risk Area Identification in the Kaski District of Nepal

The State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Department of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran 1417853933, Iran
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus, Ilam 57300, Nepal
Everest Geo-Science Information Service Center, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
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The present study utilized time-series Landsat images to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of urbanization and land use/land-cover (LULC) change in the Kaski District of Nepal from 1988 to 2016. For the specific overtime analysis of change, the LULC transition was clustered into six time periods: 1988–1996, 1996–2000, 2000–2004, 2004–2008, 2008–2013, and 2013–2016. The classification was carried out using a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm and 11 LULC categories were identified. The classified images were further used to predict LULC change scenarios for 2025 and 2035 using the hybrid cellular automata Markov chain (CA-Markov) model. Major hazard risk areas were identified using available databases, satellite images, literature surveys, and field observations. Extensive field visits were carried out for ground truth data acquisition to verify the LULC maps and identify multihazard risk areas. The overall classification accuracy of the LULC map for each year was observed to be from 85% to 93%. We explored the remarkable increase in urban/built-up areas from 24.06 km2 in 1988 to 60.74 km2 by 2016. A majority of urban/built-up areas were sourced from cultivated land. For the six time periods, totals of 91.04%, 78.68%, 75.90%, 90.44%, 92.35%, and 99.46% of the newly expanded urban land were sourced from cultivated land. Various settlements within and away from the city of Pokhara and cultivated land at the river banks were found at risk. A fragile geological setting, unstable slopes, high precipitation, dense settlement, rampant urbanization, and discrete LULC change are primarily accountable for the increased susceptibility to hazards. The predicted results showed that the urban area is likely to continue to grow by 2025 and 2035. Despite the significant transformation of LULC and the prevalence of multiple hazards, no previous studies have undertaken a long-term time-series and simulation of the LULC scenario. Updated district-level databases of urbanization and hazards related to the Kaski District were lacking. Hence, the research results will assist future researchers and planners in developing sustainable expansion policies that may ensure disaster-resilient sustainable urban development of the study area. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use/land-cover; urbanization; hazard; remote sensing/GIS land use/land-cover; urbanization; hazard; remote sensing/GIS

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Rimal, B.; Zhang, L.; Keshtkar, H.; Sun, X.; Rijal, S. Quantifying the Spatiotemporal Pattern of Urban Expansion and Hazard and Risk Area Identification in the Kaski District of Nepal. Land 2018, 7, 37.

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