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International Recovery Platform

RGS papaer 3, Arsenic contaminated aquifers, a study of the Ganga levee zones in Bihar, India

This study was aimed to find the quantum of changes in land use in the region, and identifying the visible, recorded physical causes for these changes. The methodology was based on image processing techniques of IRS-WiFS Sensor satellite imageries of March 1984 and December 2004. Comparative analysis of areas under major land use types was done. References of topographical sheets were obtained to corroborate the findings with ground realities. There was significant reduction in areas under crop cultivation and wetlands, while forest and plantation cover increased by almost 20%. Fallow lands registered a sharp increase. Sandy stretches, bereft of any significant plant cover, also had larger areal spread. The study revealed concomitant reductions in spatio-temporal surface water configurations and sharp recession of Himalayan ice cover within the time span of eighteen years. Though neotectonics have been attributed to changes in the river flow systems, the stark evidence of global warming in the form of gradual shrinking of the perennial sources of water of the region's drainage system cannot be ignored.

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