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Remote sensing and GIS techniques for the study of springs in a watershed in Garhwal in the Himalayas, India

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Water has been described as the elixir of life, the source of energy that sustains life on Earth and the factor that governs the evolution and the functioning of the universe. Increased use of water in the face of the impairment of the natural environment and ecology and the drying up of springs and reduction in their discharge and those of streams in the Lesser and Outer Himalayas are the most serious problems calling for study and exploration of groundwater resources in the Himalayan region.

The hilly regions of India are facing a serious water availability crisis, particularly during summer months. Viable sources of water, such as springs in the Himalayas, which are plentiful in the hills, are drying up due to rapid and unplanned developments. The present study deals with the delineation of springs in the Chandrabhaga watershed using remote sensing and GIS technologies. The study demonstrates that the coincidence of lineaments, derived from merged satellite data, and the drainage density show good correlation with the present spring locations in the Chandrabhaga watershed. The study shows also that the locations of various springs have changed since 1981, perhaps due to rapid changes in the landuse pattern in the watershed between 1981 and 1997. Besides landuse, topography, geology and geological structures are among the most influential factors affecting spring location and discharge. An integrated approach of remote sensing and GIS is proved to be an efficacious technique for the study of springs in a mountainous watershed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Roorkee, Roorkee-247667, India 2: National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee-247667, India

Publication date: August 15, 2000

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