• GIS;
  • morphometric parameter;
  • remote sensing;
  • soil conservation measures;
  • watershed;
  • India;
  • water conservation


Formulation of a proper watershed management plan requires reliable and up-to-date information about various factors such as morphologic (size and shape of the watershed, drainage parameters, topography), soil and their characteristics, land use, and land cover, etc. that affect the behavior of a watershed. Satellite based remote sensing technology and GIS meets both the requirements of reliability and speed and are ideal tools for generating spatial information needs. In this study, a locale-specific watershed development plan was generated for the case study area of a small agricultural watershed of Karso, Hazaribagh, India using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS-1C), Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-III) satellite data along with other datasets, e.g. existing maps and field observation data have been utilized for generating a land use/land cover map and to extract information on morphological parameters (bifurcation ratio, elongation ratio, drainage density, ruggedness number, relief ratio, and circulatory ratio) and other thematic maps which are an essential prerequisites for watershed development. Morphological parameters of subwatersheds were derived to understand its usefulness for surface water development. The conceptual framework for plan and site suitability mapping for soil and water conservation structures is developed and subsequently, these parameters were integrated with other thematic information viz., land use/cover, drainage, slope, and soil in the GIS environment to arrive at a decision regarding a suitable site for having soil and water conservation structures (nala bund, check dam, and percolation tank) in its place adopting a holistic approach. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.