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Evaluating land cover change and its impact on hydrological regime in Upper Shire River Catchment, Malawi

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dc.contributor.author Palamuleni, Lobina
dc.contributor.author Ndomba, Prediskas M.
dc.contributor.author Annegarn, Harold
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-17T08:36:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-17T08:36:48Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Palamuleni, L.G., Ndomba, P.M. & Annegarn, H.J. 2011. Evaluating land cover change and its impact on hydrological regime in Upper Shire River Catchment, Malawi. Reg Environ Change, 11:845–855 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1436-378X
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7865
dc.description.abstract A study was conducted to investigate hydrological impacts of land cover changes in the degradation of the hydrological on flow regimes of the Upper Shire river, Malawi. Remote sensing techniques were used to inventory temporal changes of land cover changes in the catchment. Hydrological data were analyzed to reveal the alterations ecosystems, and water resources for an informed decision on proper catchment planning and management and trends for two periods; 1989 and 2002. The study revealed significant changes in magnitude and direction that have occurred in the catchment between 1989 and 2002, mainly in areas of human habitation. Trends in land cover change in the Upper Shire river catchment depict land cover transition from woodlands to mostly cultivated/ grazing and built-up areas. The land cover mapping showed that 23% of the land was covered by agricultural land in 1989. Subsistence agricultural area has increased by 18%, occupying 41% of the study area in 2002. The effects of the derived land cover changes on river flow in the Upper Shire river were investigated using the semi distributed soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model. River flows were found to be highly variable and sensitive to land cover changes. Simulation results show that 2002 land cover data produces higher flow peaks and faster travel times compared to the 1989 land cover data. The changes detected indicate the effects of land use pressure in the catchment. The study highlights the importance of considering effects of land use and land cover changes on ecosystems, and water resources for an informed decision on proper catchment planning and management. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Springer-Verlag en_US
dc.rights Springer-Verlag, 2011. The final publication is available at: www.springerlink.com, DOI 10.1007/s10113-011-0220-2 en_US
dc.subject Hydrological regimes en_US
dc.subject Land cover change en_US
dc.subject Upper Shire River Catchment (Malawi) en_US
dc.subject Land use en_US
dc.subject Water catchment management en_US
dc.title Evaluating land cover change and its impact on hydrological regime in Upper Shire River Catchment, Malawi en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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