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Mahesh Kumar Gaur
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Mahesh Kumar Gaur
Mahesh Kumar Gaur: Ph.D. Associate Professor (Geography, RS & GIS), Post-Graduate Department of Geography, Bangur Government PG College, Pali-Marwar-306 001. Rajasthan. India

Arid and semi-arid areas are now facing a threefold holistic crisis: economic, food, and climate. What has emerged from these crises is the vital importance of inter-linkages among them on the one hand, and the missed opportunities in putting these pieces together on the other. This book has tried to explore these challenges though in-depth discussions of the individual. It is anticipated to inspire a forward looking debate that looks at the lessons from the past and points to actions for the future. Expertise views have been shared scientists and persons of eminence on the national and state level challenges with futuristic remedial approaches.

0 Start Pages

Preface   The land surface of our earth is home to humankind as well as most of the world's flora and fauna. Though dwarfed by the sea it still covers a vast area: if all Earth's land was put together without the oceans it would form a planet only slightly smaller than Mars. Amassing land cover data enables researchers to see how it changes over time. Analysis of archived data helps accurately chart the rates that deserts are growing and forests are cleared, a coastline erodes or urban settlements grow. On a more rapid timescale, comparing satellite images can swiftly identify the damage done by disasters such as earthquakes, fires or floods. Earth observation is essential for monitoring, reporting and verification. Satellite navigation is an important space tool also. Combining radar imagery with a technique called interferometry can identify tiny changes in land surface down to a scale of millimetres: this can be used to monitor urban subsidence as well as the slow movement of tectonic plates and the 'breathing' of volcanoes. Since satellites are expected to become an increasingly important means of obtaining observations nationally for comparing climate variability and change over different parts of the Earth. And space technology can play fundamental role in addressing climate challenges, now and in the future. With the availability of a number of satellites, India can try to achieve an environmental and climate monitoring system comparable to what we achieved for meteorology, some 25 years ago. These satellites will provide the data necessary to make annually updated country-wide land-cover maps. These maps will be essential for the country to fulfill UN's mandate on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program especially in the arid and semi-arid areas which are resource-rich. The severe droughts and accelerated land degradation process of recent years underline India's continuing vulnerability to desertification - threatening the livelihoods of millions of countrymen. Desertification and land degradation is a common problem across our country, because of circumstances in common: similar historical backgrounds, climatic conditions, land use patterns, cultural characteristics and vegetation types. The country needs to develop a common, harmonized information system available to all states affected by desertification and land degradation processes, making it possible to permanently access the data needed to monitor changes as they occur. The World Watch Institute estimates the Earth's landmasses lose up to 24 thousand million tonnes of topsoil annually. Since, our economy is highly dependent on agriculture, so soil is to be considered one of our major natural resources to be efficiently protected so a maximum level of productivity need to be sustained. And our varied climate is such that large parts of the country are sensitive to wild fires. The good news is that dryland desertification can be remedied or even reversed, using appropriate land management techniques. Forecasting is needed of areas most at risk, and this is what satellites can provide. As well as highlighting any relevant land use change, the view from space can reveal increased surface reflectivity, temperature, dryness and dustiness. Infrared sensors can be used to detect vegetation stress from environmental changes. With climate change a priority, India needs to develop a joint strategy on space and climate. As part of this, Editor invited experts from the space sector to provide research inputs for contribution. In order to effectively respond to climate change challenges, decision-makers need scientifically based climate knowledge inputs.

1 Geomorphology in Quantification of Aeolian Dynamism in Thar Desert at Local to Regional Scales
Amal Kar

Introduction Geomorphology is the study of earth’s landscapes over time and space, and involves an analysis of both its surface features as well as the processes responsible. Historically, the subject evolved through monumental studies on supposed evolution of the landscape, based on intuitive knowledge of the researchers on landscape response to endogenic and exogenic forces, as well as visions of possible changes over a time scale of centuries to millennia or more. Too much emphasis on the study of possible landscape evolution in an era of little technological back-up facilities meant that the discourses were largely philosophical in nature, with fewer measurable parameters to substantiate the concepts or the reasoning, although reflecting deep understanding of the researchers involved. As older concepts began to be confronted with newer ones, and applied aspects started receiving greater attention, a need was felt for quantification of the features and processes. This was more so for an understanding of the fluvial landscape, although aeolian and other process-based studies also gradually incorporated quantitative analysis as a means of understanding the landscape. Despite the awareness, lack of adequate equipment hindered the progress of quantification in the pre-World War II period.

1 - 18 (18 Pages)
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2 Water Management and Information System
J.R. Sharma

Abstract In the emerging era of wide spread use of IT tools, up-to-date information on water resources is the key to support economic development, conserve the nature as well as to improve the quality of life. Due to rapid rise in population  and food demand, growing economy and improving living standards; the pressure on our water resources is increasing and it will become scarce in the coming decades if not managed at this stage in a integrated way. Water resources management requires a multi-disciplinary approach that combines a collection of technical tools and expertise along with stakeholders of diverse interests and priorities in planning and management and an operational water resources information system at national level is the first requirement.

19 - 35 (17 Pages)
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3 Fluvial Process Measurement of Arid Ephemeral Channels in Western Rajasthan
P.C. Moharana and Amal Kar

Introduction   Arid western part of Rajasthan which contains the Indian segment of the Thar Desert, accounts for ~62% of the country’s hot arid area and is a region of low rainfall. Under such physico-climatic situation, fluvial processes function much less frequently and more episodically than the aeolian processes, but their impacts on landforms and society are large, as noticed on several occasions in arid regions. There is a distinct east-west gradient of rainfall and temperature in the region. Along the eastern margin bordering Aravallies, the mean annual rainfall is 500 mm while in the westernmost part at Jaisalmer, it is less than 150 mm. The rainfall is largely monsoon driven which brings 80 - 90 per cent of total rainfall received during the year. There is large inter-annual rainfall variability of rainfall which leads to climatic extremes of drought and floods of different magnitudes. For example on an average, the Thar Desert in India experiences flood-causing rainfall in 2-3 years in a decade, but a maximum of 5 flood causing rainfall years in a decade was recorded during the 1950s, 1970s and the 1990s (Rao et al. 2006).

37 - 52 (16 Pages)
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4 Saraswati River – The Source of Quenching Thirst of Thar Desert
B.K. Bhadra and J.R. Sharma

Abstract   Mention about the Great Himalayan river of Vedic Period (10000-8000 BC) is found in ancient Indian literature. The river called as ‘Saraswati’ in India and ‘Hakra’ in Pakistan, was flowing with full majesty through Thar Desert around 6000 BC and dried up during 3000 BC due to climatic and tectonic changes in Himalayan region. The relict of this lost river is still found as palaeochannels in this region. Large numbers of archaeological sites of Harappan civilization occur along the dry river bed. 

53 - 72 (20 Pages)
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5 Land Degradation Situation in Thar Region, India : Type, Extent and Associated Factors
A.K. Bera, S. Rama Subramoniam and J.R. Sharma

Abstract Land degradation is defined as human induced or natural process that negatively affects the lands to function effectively. It is temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of land (UNEP, 1992). Several definitions of land degradation have been suggested by different authorities to express the degree of deterioration in potential of land in terms of physical, chemical and biological aspects. It has both environmental and economic consequences. The information on land degradation is needed for a variety of purposes such as to improve productivity levels in degraded lands through reclamation programmes, rational land use planning and also to bring more areas under cultivation.

73 - 92 (20 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
6 Sustainable Utilization of Wastelands and their Economic Significance in Western Rajasthan, India
Mahesh Kumar Gaur and J.R. Sharma

Abstract   India shares 16% of the world population, while its land is only 2% of the total geographical area of the world. Naturally, the pressure on the land is often beyond its carrying capacity. Therefore, the productive lands, especially the farmlands in the India are in the constant process of various degrees of degradation and are fast turning into wastelands. At present, approximately 68.35 million hectare area of the land is lying as wastelands in India. Out of these lands, approximately 50% lands are such non-forest lands, which can be made fertile again if treated properly. It was unprotected non-forestlands, which suffered the maximum degradation mainly due to the tremendous biotic pressure on it. In the last 50 years it is India's lush green village forests and woodlots have been deforested to the maximum. 

93 - 116 (24 Pages)
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7 Crop Identification Using Hyperspectral Satellite Data and Field Spectra
Chilka Sharma, Manoj Joseph, S. Palaria and J.R. Sharma

Abstract This paper portray the generation of spectral signature library for semi arid area crops using hyperspectral data and the scope of the application of the generated digital library for the classification of the satellite imagery of similar regions. Hypersprctral data have narrow bands which help to provide additional information related to observed features. In case of this agriculture study crop related information are gathered using hyperspectral sensors The variation in the observations are due to physic-chemical characteristics such as biochemical composition, physical structure, water content and plant ecophysical status. Using the hand held spectroradiometer the reflectance is captured for the bajra, moong, moth crops from the Rajasthan, India’s semi arid region. The observations have been taken for different dates considering the phenology of the crops. Hyperion data from EO-1 satellite have been used to implement the classification operation based on the spectral signature library of bajra. It is observed that the image with the crops can be classified according to the phenology difference.

117 - 124 (8 Pages)
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8 Data Mining for Extracting Spatial and Temporal Pattern of Drought
Aditi Sharma, P. Dhyani and M.P. Punia

Abstract Droughts are normal recurring climatic phenomena that vary in space, time, and intensity. The spatial and temporal variability and multiple impacts of droughts provide challenges for mapping and monitoring on regional scales. Large historical datasets are required in drought studies to understand the complex inter-relationship between the climatic and meteorological data. Extraction of valuable information from such large data archives demands an automated and efficient way. Data mining is answer to above problem as it has the potential to search for hidden pattern and identify the relationship between the datasets. For the current research, rainfall data from 1951-2006 was used to compute Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and NOAA-AVHRR NDVI images for the period 1981-2006 was used to calculate Vegetation Condition Index (VCI). SPI and VCI were used as input parameters in the Apriori Algorithm for generating the association rules. Interesting rules were developed identifying the relationship between user-specified target episodes and meteorological events. Therefore, spatial and temporal pattern of drought was achieved with 88% confidence.

125 - 132 (8 Pages)
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9 Potability Analysis of Ground Water of Thar Desert
Trapti Sharma & S. Palria

Abstract Quality of water is a matter of serious concern for arid and semi arid region like Rajasthan. The study area chosen is extreme western arid part of Rajasthan state where water quality and quantity both are very important issues. Due to absence of any perennial river, scanty rainfall and scarcity of surface water resources, ground water is very deep and saline. The groundwater potability assessment was based on 1119 wells water quality data. The purposes of this investigation were (1) to provide an overview of present groundwater quality and (2) to determine spatial distribution of groundwater quality parameters which affect water potability and (3) to map groundwater potability in the study area by using GIS and Geostatistics techniques. Arc GIS 9.3 and Arc GIS Geostatistical Analyst were used for generation of various thematic maps and Arc GIS Spatial Analyst to produce the final groundwater potability map.

133 - 142 (10 Pages)
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10 Agricultural Resources in Arid Western Rajasthan-Issue and Options
Balak Ram

Introduction Agriculture contributes to 29.93% of India's GDP with a share of 27% of the world's agriculture production. India is ranked 6th in the world. In Rajasthan significant portion of economy of is agrarian. The agriculture sector of the state accounts for 22.5% share of agriculture in GSDP which is estimated to 18.39% in 2009-10. About 80% of the total population resides in rural area and largely dependent on agriculture as the source of their livelihood. The hot arid region of western Rajasthan occupies 61% of the total geographical area and 39.51% population of the state. During the last four decades the burgeoning human and livestock population and increased societal demands for land based products led to  significant expansion and intensification of agriculture by putting even marginal lands under plough, excessive exploitation  of ground water and importing of surface water for irrigation.

143 - 162 (20 Pages)
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11 Demography and Occupational Structure of Thar Desert
Mahesh Kumar Gaur and Mrs. Narvada Sharma

Abstract Population of Rajasthan as per Census 2011 is 68,621,012 persons which is much higher than census 2001 that records 56,507,188. It includes 12 districts of Rajasthan. Western Rajasthan covers about 61% area of the total geographical area and 39.51% population of the total population of the Rajasthan. The growth rate of population is much higher than that of the Rajasthan State. In the census 1981 Western Rajasthan had registered a phenomenal increase of 35.48 per cent over 1971 population. Regional pattern of growth rate in western Rajasthan shows that extreme hot arid region district (Barmer) is on top having 32.55 per cent growth rate whereas Indira Gandhi Canal Region (Ganganagar) district has least population growth of 10.06 per cent only. In 1981, the average urban growth rate had been 54.52 per cent. In 2001, the rural density of population was 83 persons per sq. km.

163 - 182 (20 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
12 Water Management in Dry lands (In-Field Water Harvesting for Sustainability)
Divya Mishra, Jyotsana Chuchra and JR Sharma

1.0 Introduction Population in dry lands of the world is increasing; more fresh water is required in order to meet the growing demands. To meet this challenging situation developing new technologies for identification of potential sites for rainwater harvesting (RWH) is an important step towards maximizing water availability in semi-arid areas.

183 - 198 (16 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
13 Role of Space Technology in Studying Land Degradation and Poverty Nexus in Dry lands: A Case Study of Pali Development Block
Himani Singh

Abstract This study evaluates the potential of remote sensing techniques for assessing the relationship between land degradation and poverty in Pali development block of Rajasthan. Due to climatic conditions that prevail in this area of the country, less facilities and management practices to conserve land and its fertility becomes an important factor for intensifying poverty. The other countenance of this is that it is poverty which leads to land degradation. This paper assesses the impact of poverty and land degradation on each other. The desertification intensity and BPL density is calculated and relation is seen using Chi square test. The goodness of fit is seen up to 5 per cent level of significance for land degradation and demographic data.  The desertification in agricultural area is also considered. The total degradation in the block calculated is 8.39 per cent. It is found that village with highest BPL density has more degradation intensity particularly in agricultural area, proving the agricultural based economy of the dry lands in Rajasthan. An example study is also done at village level.  Using cadastral map and satellite image classification, fields that require immediate attention have been identified. Demographic and degradation maps are also prepared.

199 - 208 (10 Pages)
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14 Study of Spatial Distribution of Groundwater Quality with Geostatistics in Western Rajasthan
Mrs. Trapti Sharma & S. Palria

Abstract Groundwater is one of the major sources of exploitation in arid and semi -arid regions of Rajasthan. To protect groundwater, its data on spatial distribution are important along with quantity. Analysis of quality of groundwater is also very important, because the physical and chemical characteristics of groundwater determine its suitability for agricultural, industrial and domestic usages. The importance ground water increases many fold for arid tracts like Western Rajasthan. Here quality of water is also matter of serious concern. Geostatistics methods are most advanced techniques for interpolation of Groundwater quality. The present study appraises the groundwater quality of western Rajasthan for agricultural purpose with GIS technology. Kriging Raster Interpolation technique of spatial analyst module in Arc GIS software has been used to generate the spatial distribution map of ground water for agricultural purpose. In western Rajasthan only 28% (58109 km2) of ground water falls under the category of good and is suitable for agricultural use. 

209 - 218 (10 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
15 Predicting Drought Using Time Series Analysis and Forecasting of Rainfall and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) Data
Aditi Sharma, P. Dhayani and M.P. Punia

Abstract   The definition of what drought is and what drought is not, has profound implications for the environment and all segments of society, yet it may be different for each. Many attempts have been made to develop a comprehensive and meaningful definition. A generic definition provides a starting point:  Drought is a persistent and abnormal moisture deficiency having adverse impacts on vegetation, animals, and people. The public perceives “drought” as a serious departure from normal water conditions, a departure that requires a public response to reduce negative impacts. About two thirds of the geographic area of India receives low rainfall (less than 1000 mm), which is also characterized by uneven and erratic distributions.

219 - 230 (12 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
16 Assessment and Modeling of Village Ecosytem using Earth Observation and Geospatial Technology
Ila Agnihotri

Abstract This paper is the result of strong belief that if earth observation and geospatial techniques could be applied to a village to plan its natural resources in sustainable manner, the potential of this technique for common man is harnessed maximum. So analysis of one village natural environment, predicting its impact on humans, identifying certain possible inhabitable conditions due to existing nature & suggesting ways to utilize these conditions for sustainable human's and nature's existence  is the motive behind this work.

231 - 254 (24 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
17 Desertification Assessment Within Landuse and Degradation in Pali Development Block by Using LISS IV Data
Mani Tyagi

Abstract Conversion of an already arid land into a desert through indiscriminate human actions magnified by droughts. Such actions include overgrazing, repeated burning, intensive farming, and stripping of vegetation for firewood. One quarter of the earth’s surface is threatened by desertification - an area of over 3.6 billion hectares. Since 1990, Six million hectares of productive land are lost every year due to land degradation. Desertification threatens the liveihoods of more than one billion people and has already made over 135 million people homeless. Desertification does not occur in linear, easily mappable patterns. Deserts advance erratically, forming patches on their borders. Areas far from natural deserts can degrade quickly to barren soil, rock, or sand through poor land management.

255 - 263 (9 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
18 Numerical Groundwater Flow Modeling Using MODFLOW : A Case Study of Osian-Mandore Pilot area of Jodhpur District, Rajasthan

Abstract Groundwater flow modeling in hydrological sciences is one of the main tools used to assess the resource potential in terms of quantity and to predict the future impacts under different stresses/scenarios. This case study is prepared to present the  groundwater flow model for the Osian-Mandore pilot area with 12 villages of Mandore Block and 21 village of Osian Block in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. The spatial model parameters and spatio-temporal fluxes were acquired and processed using remote sensing, GIS and Groundwater flow modeling interfaces. MODFLOW software was used to model the groundwater flow system in three interfaces PMWIN 5.3.0, Groundwater Modeling System and Visual MODFLOW. 

265 - 276 (12 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
19 Satellite Remote Sensing and Geospatial Technology to Support Assessment of Crop Water Information for Sustainable Water Resource Management
Kamini Yadav

Abstract This paper sets out to describe key results and experiences obtained during the assessment of the crop response to water which varies strongly from crop to crop depending on its specific genetic characteristics and adaptation to ecological conditions. The specific crop water information for the different crops is compiled in a crop-based data base. This includes crop water parameters, yield response to water, as well as selection of economy crops. Existing natural water resources can sustain the crop production with high yield as well as economic value with minimal environment impact. Most of the crop varieties get all of its required water from rainfall- water but due to climate change there is always a demand of irrigation water from the ground water resources. Thus, there is a need to evaluate the crop water information in relation to ground water extraction as a source of irrigation.

277 - 288 (12 Pages)
₹145.00 ₹131.00 + Tax
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