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Land Cover Change

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Land use change and hydrology is linked with each other and changing in one can affect the other in this earth system. Rapid growth of urbanization and industrial revolution led to the construction of new buildings, roads etc. which not only increase the impervious cover and alter land surface but also affect hydrological cycle and climate (Elvidge et al., 2004). Low-density housing developments (suburban and exurban areas), have rapidly expanded throughout the U.S. over the last 60 years to accommodate the growing population and as a result changing the landscape as well as resource management (Brown et al., 2014). According to US environmental Protection Agency urban development is a well-documented cause of increase impervious surface, hydrologic…show more content…
Although land use and land cover change focused on the human induced transformation of land in earlier days, it became more popular within the larger concept of global environmental change (Meyer and Turner, 1994). Since the last couple of decades major metropolitan areas are facing the urban sprawl problem combining loss of natural vegetation and open space and a general decline in the extent and connectivity of wetlands and wildlife habitat (Acevedo et al., 1999). Vitousek (1994) notes that land use land cover change is one of the three well documented global changes which will likely effect the ecological balance. Land use change is a major force that can alter the hydrological process such as precipitation, evapotranspiration, groundwater recharge dynamics etc. (Foley et al., 2005; Leng et al., 2011, Nian et al., 2014). Moreover land use change not only cause climatic variability but also reduces the quantity, quality, and diversity of stream habitat for aquatic life (Booth and Bledsoe 2009).
There are several effects of land use change on hydrology primarily
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It is found that flood discharges increased in proportion to impervious surface cover and were at least 250% higher in urban catchments than forested catchments in Texas and New York after similar storms (Espey et al., 1965; Seaburn 1969; Paul and Meyer, 2001). Consequences of increased impervious cover may change the shape of the stream channel, raise water temperature and pollute streams and rivers through sweeping urban debris (Elvidge et al., 2004). Increase of impervious area also decline baseflows

Highly urban watersheds (where impervious cover is more than 50%) had the lowest benthic diversity as compared to other land use such as suburban and forested creeks (Lerberg et al. 2000, Schueler, T., 2003). Municipal and industrial discharge pollutes the urban streams, and decreases the abundance and diversity of living organisms. Several studies have described the effects of urbanization on stream water quality and ecosystem processes across multiple regions (Paul and Meyer, 2001, Walsh et al., 2005).
Groundwater recharge depends on various parameters including climate, soils, and vegetation. Replacing rangeland with agricultural ecosystems or urban development alters many of these parameters effects directly groundwater recharge dynamics (Scanlon et al.,
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