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J Environ Biol. 2012 Apr;33(2 Suppl):439-47.

Land use and land cover change detection in Karinca river catchment (NW Turkey) using GIS and RS techniques.

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Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Balikesir, 10145 Balikesir-Turkey.


The basin of Karinca river, in the north-west of Turkey, covers an area of 29,840 ha. Pronounced changes in land use emerged as a result of the development of activities in the tourism sector in Turkey in the 1970's. The basin has been significantly affected in the course of this process. This study was conducted in order to determine the land use changes (as well as the type of changes and their direction) occurring in the use of land in the Karinca river catchment for the period 1979-2007. The geographical data were gathered by using 1:25000 scale topographical maps as a basis. Thus, the existing soil and land use data from 1979 were processed on these bases and the the main materials rendering the land use were produced. Geometric verification was made by putting the previously prepared bases onto landsat ETM+ and satellite images of 2007. In the final stage, results pertaining to the changes in land use were obtained by overlapping the two sets of data. All processes were done using the ArcGIS Desktop v9.x program. According to the data of the year 1979, the catchment area consisted of 43.4% forest, 26.5% grassland, 18.3% olive groves, 10.6% agriculture and 1.2% built-up lands. Comparing these coverage with the data of 2007, show a clear shift among residential areas, olive groves and forest terrain. It was found that the agricultural areas, particularly along the shoreline, were converted into resort houses and that the olive groves (the dominant land use) shifted from lower regions to its upper sectors. All these changes caused loss of natural habitats leading to degradation.

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