To Assess the Impact of Urbanization-Associated Land Use Changes on Actual Evapotranspiration and Water Balance in the Kelani River Basin, Sri Lanka

V.P.I.S. Wijeratne, H.A.C.D. Senavirathna, L. Manawadu, (doi: 10.23953/cloud.ijarsg.440)


Actual Evapotranspiration (AET) is a major component of the river basin hydrological cycle over land surface and energy balances. More than 60% of input water on land is returned to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration and it greatly influences the water availability on the land surface. Estimation of AET is an essential part in various fields. Thus, this study mainly aims at assessing the impact of urbanization-associated land use changes on actual evapotranspiration and water balance in the Kelani River Basin, Sri Lanka. Thronthwaite equation and land use conditions are mainly considered in this study to estimate AET. Average monthly temperature data has been obtained from NASA MOD1C3 and data has been validated using observed temperature data processed by the Meteorological Department in Sri Lanka. Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) was calculated using monthly average temperature and fractional vegetation cover was calculated using Landsat images (TM, ETM and OLI) to identify the land use and land cover changes from year 2000 to 2018. Both potential evapotranspiration and fractional vegetation cover are used to estimate AET. TRRM data was used to get Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Landsat images were used to calculate Normalized Differential Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Differential Building Index (NDBI). All the analysis used in this study have been carried out using raster calculator, zonal statistics and pivot tools in ArcGIS 10.1 software. The study revealed that land use and land cover is a major fact to determine AET. Upper catchment of Kelani River has obtained high AET values due to the vegetation cover and the elevation. Lower part of the catchment is associated with the low values due to build - up areas. AET has decreased by 2018 and urbanization is the main reason for it. Rainy seasons reduce the AET since high humidity and reducing AET can be highlighted when considering the temporal changes of AET in Kelani river basin. Evapotranspiration as a major component of water cycle should be considered because it can be a significant fact to reduce precipitation.


Evapotranspiration; AET; PET; NDVI; NDBI

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