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Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management
Damen, M. C. J.

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Symposium on Remote Sensing for Resources Development and Environmental Management / Enschede / August 1986
Remote sensing in evaluating land use, land cover and land capability
of a part of Cuddapan District, Andhra Preadesh, India
S.V.B.Krishna Bhagavan & K.L.V.Ramana Rao
Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India
ABSTRACT: An area of about 1500 sq.km of a part of Rajampet taluk, Cuddapah district in
Andhra Pradesh was taken up for the study. Aerial photographs on a scale of 1:60,000 and
Landsat imagery (bands 5 & 7) on a scale of 1:250,000 were interpreted to study landforms,
soils, land use and land cover and the capability. Field traverses were made to confirm
the air photo and Landsat image interpretation, especially for the present land use, land
cover, soils and to identify geomorphically hazardous zones. Land use and land cover in
the area are classified into twelve types, viz., wet crop land, dry crop land, land under
horticulture, grass land and shrub land, southern tropical dry deciduous forest with red
sanders, southern tropical dry thorn forest, roadways, railways, built up area, barren
land, broken ground - dissection and erosion, and water bodies. The study area is divided
into six classes of land capability based on landforms, drainage, slope, erosion, soil,
groundwater potential and present land use. The data is presented in 4 maps (location and
physiography, geomorphology, land use and land cover, and land capability).
An area of about 1500 sq.km between lati
tudes 14°00* and 14°15' N and longitudes
79°00' and 79°30' E of a part of Rajampet
taluk, Cuddapah district in Andhra Pradesh
is taken up for the study (Fig.l). The
area has been affected by droughts during
the last few decades. This work being the
first attempt of its kind in this area,
aims to study landforms and correlate them
with land use and land cover.
Aerial photographs (1:60,000), Landsat II
imagery (bands 5 & 7), topographic maps
(1:63,360) and field data are the main
sources of information for this study. Topo
graphic maps are used as base maps for
transferring the data through photo inter
pretation. Ground data through field
studies have been collected to supplement
and confirm the airphoto interpretation.
The objective of the present study is to
identify landforms, land use, land cover,
land capability, and soil and to correlate
the relationship among them, with a view
to provide basic data to planners. Planning
is needed for proper utilization of natural
resources with minimum disturbance of the
environment. Planning for resource utiliza
tion of an area requires a detailed know
ledge of the landscape, i.e., landforms,
material composition, slope, land cover,
present land use and surface and subsurface
water conditions. It is aimed to collect
information on a few of these useful aspects
through remote sensing techniques and ground
Physiographically the area is divided into
(1) ridge and valley topography of Velikonda
range, (2) gently sloping terrain of the
Palkonda range, and (3) the fluvial plains
of Cheyyeru, Pulang Eru and Patagunjana
river (Fig.l). The three rivers are ephe
meral in nature. The highest elevation is
1047 m above M.S.L. at Suddakoppu, east of
Mangampeta. A majority of the hills fall in
between the range of 300 to 800 m. Small
hillocks and mounds in the altitudinal range
of 30 to 100 m are scattered in the valley
fill areas. The western part of the area
exhibits a cuesta type of landform. The
remaining area is occupied by valley fill
and river built plains with the minimum local
base level being 150 m. The climate is semi-
arid to arid, with an average annual rain
fall of 742.8 mm, over half of which is
received during June to October (southwest
monsoon). The summer temperature in May
goes up to 34.5°C, the winter temperature
in December goes down to 24.3°C.
The study area is occupied by rocks of
Dharwar (of Archaean), Cuddapah and Kurnool
Super-groups (of Proterozoic). Granites and
gneisses of Archaean age occupy a small area
in the northeastern part of the study area.
The rest of the area is occupied by rocks
of the Cuddapah and Kurnool Super-groups.
The important rock types in these two groups
exposed in the study area are shale,phyllite,
dolomite, limestone, quartzite, and conglo
merate. The Velikonda range trends north -
south. It is formed of folded shales and
quartzites. The Palkonda range has cuesta
slopes inclined to the northeast. Its trend
is NW - SE. The Palkondas are formed of
quartzites with dip slopes ranging between
10° and 20°. The study area is known for
one of the largest deposits of barytes of
volcanogenic origin at Mangampeta in Rajam
pet taluk, and for substantial quantities
of cement grade limestone.
King (1872) first made extensive study on
the stratigraphy of the Cuddapah Basin and
classified the rocks. The Geological Survey
of India has updated the geological map of
Cuddapah Basin on 1:250,000 scale (G.S.I.
Publication, 1981). A few geomorphic stu
dies have also been carried out in the
Cuddapah Basin (Vaidyanadhan, 1962,1964).
Geomorphological maps on a scale of
1:250,000 was prepared from Landsat imagery
by Naresh Bedi (1978). Geomorphological
maps on a scale of 1:250,000 and 1:60,000
were prepared based on Landsat imagery and
aerial photo interpretation of parts of
Cuddapah Basin by Krishna Bhagavan and