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Research Paper | Environmental Science Studies | India | Volume 5 Issue 6, June 2016
Temporal Change Assessment of Oxbow Lakes in Kerala, India Using Geographic Information System
Subin K. Jose  | R. V. Rajan
Abstract: It is increasingly realized that the planet earth is facing grave environmental problems with fast depleting natural resources and threatening the very existence of most of the ecosystems. Serious concerns are voiced among scientists, planners, sociologists, politicians, and economists to conserve and preserve the natural resources of the world. An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water that forms when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off, creating a free- standing body of water. Oxbow lakes are Shallow open waters. They are small bodies of standing or gently flowing water that represent a transitional stage between lakes and marshes. Kanichan thura at Vynthala is considered to be the only one naturally formed Ox-bow lake in Kerala. The need to monitor land cover is derived from multiple intersecting drivers, including the physical climate, ecosystem health, and societal needs. Tropical ecosystem has undergone rapid land cover changes especially in the last few decades. Land use and land cover are dynamic Land use/ Land cover changes also involve the modification, either direct or indirect, of natural habitats and their impact on the ecology of the area. The land-cover changes occur naturally in a progressive and gradual way, however sometimes it may be rapid and abrupt due to anthropogenic activities. Land use/cover change has become a central component in current strategies for managing natural resource and monitoring environmental changes. Present study analyses the change in oxbow lake due to natural and anthropogenic reasons. A good portion of this Oxbow lake- like structure has been either encroached upon or degraded. A small portion remains undamaged.
Keywords: Oxbow lake, GIS, Kanichamthura, natural resource
Edition: Volume 5 Issue 6, June 2016,
Pages: 294 - 297