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Proceedings 2017, 1(2), 17;

Change Detection of Lakes in Pokhara, Nepal Using Landsat Data

Department of Civil Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea
Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Tribhuvan University, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
Presented at the 3rd International Electronic Conference on Sensors and Applications, 15–30 November 2016; Available online:
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Published: 14 November 2016
PDF [1403 KB, uploaded 26 June 2017]


Pokhara, city of lakes, is second largest and most beautiful tourist place in Nepal. Out of seven lakes, the large three: Phewa, Begnas and Rupa are famous for tourist attraction, whereas the rest are small and less known. Lakes are not only economic value, but are also ecological and environmental resources. But, these lakes are facing challenges due to climatic and anthropogenic activities. As these changes are slow and takes long time, the damage unnoticed to take measures. Hence, long historic data provided such as of remote sensors are concrete evidence of change, which help us understand the cause and prevent further change. Landsat series provide the continuous data with high temporal resolution freely to the scientific community. For such data, many simple and low cost index methods has been developed to identify water bodies. In this study, we use these indices to detect the change of lakes in Pokhara city using Landsat data of 25 years gap i.e., 1988–2013. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), and Modified NDWI (MNDWI) were investigated for the unsupervised extraction of surface water from Landsat data. A model is developed in ArcGIS by differencing the water bodies derived form index methods and difference were calculated for positive and negative change. The results show that the area of Phewa has shrunken, whereas Rupa being increase in surface water area. Began has few changes and other small lakes except Dipang lake, were not detected. Dipang Lake showed increase in surface water area after 25 years of gap. The result can be helpful in reclaiming and restoration of lake area, preserve and maintain the wetland ecosystem in the city. Also, the model presented in the manuscript can be used for change detection of surface water due to flood, or debris blockages in disaster prone countries.
Keywords: Pokhara; Nepal; seven lakes; Landsat; water index; change detection Pokhara; Nepal; seven lakes; Landsat; water index; change detection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Acharya, T.D.; Yang, I.T.; Subedi, A.; Lee, D.H. Change Detection of Lakes in Pokhara, Nepal Using Landsat Data. Proceedings 2017, 1, 17.

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