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Open AccessArticle

Land Use/Land Cover Dynamics and Modeling of Urban Land Expansion by the Integration of Cellular Automata and Markov Chain

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
Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, MSN 1E2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus Ilam, Ilam 57300, Nepal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(4), 154;
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 15 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Environment Mapping Using GIS)
This study explored the past and present land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes and urban expansion pattern for the cities of the Kathmandu valley and their surroundings using Landsat satellite images from 1988 to 2016. For a better analysis, LULC change information was grouped into seven time-periods (1988–1992, 1992–1996, 1996–2000, 2000–2004, 2004–2008, 2008–2013, and 2013–2016). The classification was conducted using the support vector machines (SVM) technique. A hybrid simulation model that combined the Markov-Chain and Cellular Automata (MC-CA) was used to predict the future urban sprawl existing by 2024 and 2032. Research analysis explored the significant expansion in urban cover which was manifested at the cost of cultivated land. The urban area totaled 40.53 km2 in 1988, which increased to 144.35 km2 in 2016 with an average annual growth rate of 9.15%, an overall increase of 346.85%. Cultivated land was the most affected land-use from this expansion. A total of 91% to 98% of the expanded urban area was sourced from cultivated land alone. Future urban sprawl is likely to continue, which will be outweighed by the loss of cultivated land as in the previous decades. The urban area will be expanded to 200 km2 and 238 km2 and cultivated land will decline to 587 km2 and 555 km2 by 2024 and 2032. Currently, urban expansion is occurring towards the west and south directions; however, future urban growth is expected to rise in the southern and eastern part of the study area, dismantling the equilibrium of environmental and anthropogenic avenues. Since the study area is a cultural landscape and UNESCO heritage site, balance must be found not only in developing a city, but also in preserving the natural environment and maintaining cultural artifacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: land-use/cover; urbanization; time series; CA–Markov land-use/cover; urbanization; time series; CA–Markov
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Rimal, B.; Zhang, L.; Keshtkar, H.; Haack, B.N.; Rijal, S.; Zhang, P. Land Use/Land Cover Dynamics and Modeling of Urban Land Expansion by the Integration of Cellular Automata and Markov Chain. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 154.

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