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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2314-4203 - ISSN (Online) 2314-4211
Published by Hindawi [406 journals]
- Analysis of Shoreline Change along Cape Coast-Sekondi Coast, Ghana
Abstract: The two most important factors constantly impinging on the net movement of shorelines are erosion and accretion. This study analyzed the role of erosion and accretion in shoreline changes along the coast between Cape Coast and Sekondi in the central and western regions of Ghana, respectively. Aerial photographs, satellite images, and topographical maps were used. In addition, field survey using Global Positioning System (GPS) was conducted at selected locations due to the unavailability of satellite image for 2013. Shoreline change analysis was conducted using Digital Shoreline Analysis Systems based on End Point Rate formula. In addition, community interactions were also conducted to get first-hand information from the local inhabitants. The study finds that the shoreline under study has been fluctuating. The sea advanced inland between 1972 and 2005, which is attributed mainly to intense erosion. The study further reveals that, in the past five years, the shoreline had been retreating mainly due to increased accretion. It is recommended that the shoreline under study should be monitored regularly to keep abreast with net movements that will occur in either the short term or the long term so as to factor the net effect into the management of the coastal zone.
PubDate: Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:10:05 +000
- Wealth, Health, and Inequality: Households Exposure to Environmental
Abstract: This study examined the geographies of ecological hazards in the “Garden City” of West Africa, Kumasi. The data collection involved questionnaire survey of 300 households using proportional representative sample of residential communities. This was complemented with 6 focus group discussions and 12 in-depth interviews with officers involved in environmental management. The results show that the disparities in household exposure to environmental hazards were not only skewed towards the economically deprived communities but were also disproportionately biased against the indigenous communities. The research views this development as an indication of poor urban environmental management and confirms how lack of holistic environmental planning has led to injustice in the exposure to environmental hazards. We argue that a proper environmental management framework has to be developed to correct the inequalities in order to guarantee social cohesion within the entire urban space.
PubDate: Thu, 14 Jan 2016 16:06:13 +000
- Nexus between Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining and Livelihood in
Prestea Mining Region, Ghana
Abstract: Drawing on the DFID’s sustainable livelihood framework, this paper explores the nexus between artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and livelihood in Prestea mining region, Ghana. A cross-sectional mixed method survey involving simple random and purposively sampled participants () was carried out. The results suggest both positive and negative relationships between ASM and livelihoods of the people. The study found various livelihood assets associated with ASM and how critical assets are adversely affected by ASM activities. Limited employment opportunities in rural areas (82%), economic hardships/poverty situations of people (59%), and “quick” income earnings from ASM (90%) were the major factors that influenced people to combine and use their personal assets to enable them to engage in ASM. ASM contributes to the livelihood enhancement through income generation, increased well-being and asset acquisition (50.7%), reduced vulnerabilities (31.1%), and empowerment of people (19.2%) to establish other economic activities. However, the small-scale miners and farmers as well as farmlands, forest, and water resources are most vulnerable to adverse effects of ASM activities. Accidents of various degrees, diseases, and death were the shocks in ASM. Regarding the massive impact of ASM on employment creation and poverty reduction in rural communities, it is recommended that stakeholders recast Ghana’s mineral policy to ensure concurrent environmental sustainability and socioeconomic development.
PubDate: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:52:06 +000
- Ground-Truthing Validation to Assess the Effect of Facility Locational
Error on Cumulative Impacts Screening Tools
Abstract: Researchers and government regulators have developed numerous tools to screen areas and populations for cumulative impacts and vulnerability to environmental hazards and risk. These tools all rely on secondary data maintained by government agencies as part of the regulatory and permitting process. Stakeholders interested in cumulative impacts screening results have consistently questioned the accuracy and completeness of some of these datasets. In this study, three cumulative impacts screening tools used in California were compared, and ground-truth validation was used to determine the effect database inaccuracy. Ground-truthing showed substantial locational inaccuracy and error in hazardous facility databases and statewide air toxics emission inventories of up to 10 kilometers. These errors resulted in significant differences in cumulative impact screening scores generated by one screening tool, the Environmental Justice Screening Method.
PubDate: Mon, 31 Aug 2015 07:10:30 +000
- Geotechnical Distinction of Landslides Induced by Near-Field Earthquakes
in Niigata, Japan
Abstract: Landslides triggered by near-field earthquakes with epicentres directly beneath towns have attracted intense attention since the 2004 Mid-Niigata (Niigata-ken Chuetsu) Earthquake. Hilly and mountainous areas sustained heavy damage. Social problems developed when many towns became isolated because landslides cut off traffic and public service lifelines. Soil from landslides closed river channels and formed natural dams. The natural dams submerged some towns. Emergency measures were undertaken promptly to prevent debris flows caused by natural dam breaks. Subsequently, the 2007 Mid-Niigata Offshore (Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki) Earthquake and the 2011 Northern Nagano Earthquake struck the Niigata region. Landslides triggered by those earthquakes differed in terms of their number, scale, and location. Therefore, characteristics of the landslide sites of the respective earthquakes were examined to ascertain their topographical and geological features. Furthermore, differences in groundwater level and damage related to compound disasters were explained for discussion of the stability progress of damaged slopes.
PubDate: Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:22:58 +000
- Public Perception of Climate Change in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Abstract: This study was designed to assess the public perception of climate change in Yenagoa. The sample survey method was adopted, which involved the administration of 360 questionnaires to randomly selected households. The results showed that 43.33% of respondents lack adequate knowledge of climate change. Further interview revealed that 55.3% of the respondents are unaware that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major greenhouse gas, contributing about 55% to global warming. It was revealed that respondents’ major sources of information on climate change were personal experience and television (66.33%). Also, 48.7% of the respondents believed that one of the major natural causes of climate change is divine providence. The study also revealed that there were significant variations in respondents’ perception of the causes, potential impacts, and mitigation strategies of climate change. The variations were attributable to differences in educational status and sources of information on climate change by respondents. The study concluded that the level of knowledge of the people was inadequate. Therefore, all stakeholders should step-up mass education and information sharing on the causes, potential impacts, and mitigation strategies of climate change.
PubDate: Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:13:57 +000
- Geographic Concerns on Flood Climate and Flood Hydrology in
Monsoon-Dominated Damodar River Basin, Eastern India
Abstract: In the Lower Gangetic Plain of West Bengal, the furious monsoon flood of Damodar River is a recurrent hydrometeorological phenomenon which is now intensified by the human activities. At present, the flood regulation system of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is not capable of managing gigantic inflow water (which appeared as surface runoff and channel flow) coming from the wide fan-shaped upper catchment of Damodar River. As a result, the lower basin of Damodar (covering Barddhaman, Hooghly, and Howrah districts of West Bengal) annually experiences low to high magnitude of floods and overflow condition because the existing canal system, streams, palaeochannels, and Damodar River itself have lost their former carrying capacity to accommodate all excess water within its active domain due to over siltation and drainage congestion. So when the DVC dams are not able to regulate flood flow, then extreme rainfall of prolonged duration over the basin turns the normal situation into devastating flood, like the years of 1978 and 2000 in West Bengal. Identifying the existing problems of lower Damodar River, this paper principally tries to assess the potentiality of flood climate and to estimate the contributing rainfall-runoff, peak discharge, and existing carrying capacity of river in relation to increasing flood risk of lower basin using the quantitative hydrologic expressions.
PubDate: Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:40:04 +000
- Rapid Urban Expansion and Its Implications on Geomorphology: A Remote
Sensing and GIS Based Study
Abstract: Topography, vegetation, climate, water table, and even the anthropogenic activities all are affected by urban growth through diverse mechanisms. The present study focuses on the implications of urban expansion on geomorphology in the historical city of Gwalior in central India. The expansion of urban area has been quantified by deriving data for four decades (1972–2013) from the Landsat images. The results show that the urban built-up area has increased by 08.48 sq. km during the first eighteen years (1972–1990) which has increased to 16.28 sq. km during the next sixteen years (1990–2006). The built-up area has gone up to 23.19 sq. km in the next seven years (2006–2013). Overall during the last 40 years the growth of the urban built-up is nearly three times of the built-up areas in 1972. The average decadal growth rate of population is 27.28 percent while that of built-up land is 36.29 percent. The construction activities have affected important geomorphic features such pediplain, buried pediplain, residual hills, and denudational hills. It was concluded that, instead of shortsighted urban development, proper measures should be taken in accordance with scientific planning for the urban expansion of the city in the future.
PubDate: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:19:59 +000
- Searching for the Determinants of Climate Change Interest
Abstract: A meaningful CO2 mitigation policy is unlikely at the national level in the United States. What is currently happening and what is much more likely to occur in the future are city and regional level efforts of mitigation and adaptation. This paper aims to understand the geographic and socioeconomic characteristics of metropolitan areas and regions that lead to engagement with the issue of climate change. We use geographically explicit, internet search data from Google to measure information seeking behavior, which we interpret as engagement, attention, and interest. Our spatial Hot Spot analysis creates a map that potentially could be harnessed by policymakers to gauge mitigation support or adaptation potential. The results of our multivariate analysis suggest that socioeconomic factors are the strongest determinants of search behavior and that climate and geography have little to no impact. With regard to political ideology, we find evidence of a nonlinear, inverse-U relationship with maximum search activity occurring in metropolitan areas with a near even political split, suggesting that parity may be good for engagement.
PubDate: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:43:41 +000
- Deposition and Mineralogical Characteristics of Atmospheric Dust in
relation to Land Use and Land Cover Change in Delhi (India)
Abstract: This study highlights that the increasing urbanization and industrialization in Delhi are responsible for higher fluxes of atmospheric dust and its chemical constituents. Delhi has experienced a drastic change in land use and land cover area during the past two decades. Road lengths of the city have increased by 76% from 1985 to 2011. The number of mobile vehicles has reached 80,52,508 in 2014 from 24,32,295 in 1994. The industrial units in Delhi have increased by 39.54% in 2011 as compared to 1994 value. Atmospheric dust which is originated from soil in this region becomes carbon rich due to interaction of suspended soil with atmospheric pollutants. Emissions of carbonaceous aerosols from coal and petroleum combustions are mainly responsible for silica dominated soil dust transforming into carbon rich particulate matter. Such dust may play very important role in the atmosphere having significant influence on human health, global warming, climate change, radiative forcing, visibility, and cloud formation. It is expected that if the rate of development remains the same, green cover of the city invariably will be sized down in order to meet the demand of housing, transportation, industries, and so forth in proportion to the rising population.
PubDate: Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:32:55 +000
- Omitted Variables in the Geographical Treatment of Well-Being and
Abstract: This paper provides a critical engagement with state-of-the-art research from positive psychology and behavioral genetics that directly challenges social geographers’ working hypothesis that people’s well-being and happiness can dramatically be improved by suitably modifying unjust social arrangements and exploitative economic relations. It is intended to generate interest in this neglected body of work in general and awareness of its politically regressive implications in particular.
PubDate: Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:56:48 +000
- A Suite of Tools for Assessing Thematic Map Accuracy
Abstract: Although land use/cover maps are widely used to support management and environmental policies, only some studies have reported their accuracy using sound and complete assessments. Thematic map accuracy assessment is typically achieved by comparing reference sites labeled with the “ground-truth” category to the ones depicted in the land use/cover map. A variety of sampling designs are used to select these references sites. The estimators for accuracy indices and the variance of these estimators depend on the sampling design. However, the tools used to assess accuracy available in the main program packages compute the accuracy indices without taking into account the sampling and give inconsistent estimates. As an alternative, we present free user-friendly tools that enable users beyond the Geographic Information Science Community to compute accuracy indices and estimate corrected areas of given categories with their respective confidence intervals. The tool runs in Dinamica EGO, a free platform for environmental spatial modeling as well as a Q-GIS plugin and a R package. Additionally, a practical application example is described using a case study area in central-west Mexico.
PubDate: Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:34:07 +000
- A Study on Moyna Basin Water-Logged Areas (India) Using Remote Sensing and
GIS Methods and Their Contemporary Economic Significance
Abstract: The prime objective of this paper is to identify and map the water-logged areas within Moyna basin, India, and to explore their contemporary economic significances. The Landsat 5 TM, ASTER data, and topographical sheets have been taken into consideration with field observations. Maps on relief, slope, canal density, embankments, a supervised classification of the study area and then NDVI, NDWI, and modified NDWI or NDMI have been prepared here. At Moyna, the piezometric surface ranges from five to ten metres below the ground level. The percentage of clay particles is high throughout the surface soil. The total rainfall is nearly 1400 mm and most of it happened during the monsoon period. Two well-marked depressions are observed there within the basin and the nearly central one is wide and is clearly identified from the relief map also. Problem of drainage congestion there accelerates the onset of water-logged situation. In general, water-logged areas are not suitable for humans. People once were worried about the water-logged environment due to underwater scenario of low-lying agricultural fields for a certain period, but today local people are taking this environmental condition as an opportunity for fishing activity and thus they are becoming economically benefitted as well.
PubDate: Sun, 18 May 2014 12:49:36 +000
- Morphometry Governs the Dynamics of a Drainage Basin: Analysis and
Abstract: Mountainous rivers are the most significant source of water supply in the Himalayan provinces of India. The drainage basin dynamics of these rivers are controlled by the tectonomorphic parameters, which include both surface and subsurface characteristics of a basin. To understand the drainage basin dynamics and their usefulness in watershed prioritisation and management in terms of soil erosion studies and groundwater potential assessment and flood hazard risk reduction in mountainous rivers, morphometric analysis of a Himalayan River (Supin River) basin has been taken as a case study. The entire Supin River basin has been subdivided into 27 subwatersheds and 36 morphometric parameters have been calculated under four broad categories: drainage network, basin geometry, drainage texture, and relief characteristics, each of which is further grouped into five different clusters having similar morphometric properties. The various morphometric parameters have been correlated with each other to understand their underlying relationship and control over the basin hydrogeomorphology. The result thus generated provides adequate knowledge base required for decision making during strategic planning and delineation of prioritised hazard management zones in mountainous terrains.
PubDate: Wed, 07 May 2014 06:43:14 +000
- Energy-Related Carbon Emissions of China’s Model Environmental
Abstract: This paper identifies three types of model environmental cities in China and examines their levels of energy-related carbon emissions using a bottom-up accounting system. Model environmental cities are identified as those that have been recently awarded official recognition from the central government for their efforts in environmental protection. The findings show that, on average, the Low-Carbon Cities have lower annual carbon emissions, carbon intensities, and per capita emissions than the Eco-Garden Cities and the Environmental Protection Cities. Compared internationally, the Eco-Garden Cities and the Environmental Protection Cities have per capita emissions that are similar to those of American cities whereas per capita emissions from the Low-Carbon Cities are similar to those of European cities. The result indicates that addressing climate change is not a priority for some model environmental cities. Policy changes are needed to prioritize climate mitigation in these cities, considering that climate change is a cross-cutting environmental issue with wide-ranging impact.
PubDate: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:07:47 +000
- Estimation of Peak Flood Discharge for an Ungauged River: A Case Study of
the Kunur River, West Bengal
Abstract: Due to unavailability of sufficient discharge data for many rivers, hydrologists have used indirect methods for deriving flood discharge amount, that is, application of channel geometry and hydrological models, for the estimation of peak discharge in the selected ungauged river basin(s) in their research/project works. This paper has studied the estimation of peak flood discharge of the Kunur River Basin, a major tributary of the Ajay River in the lower Gangetic plain. To achieve this objective, field measurements, GIS technique, and several channel geometry equations are adopted. Three important geomorphic based hydrological models—manning’s equation, kinematic wave parameter (KWP), and SCS curve number (CN) method—have been used for computing peak discharge during the flood season, based on daily rainfall data of September, 2000. Peak discharges, calculated by different given models, are 239.44 m3/s, 204.08 m3/s, and 146.52 m3/s, respectively. The hydrograph has demonstrated the sudden increase with heavy rainfall from the 18th to the 22nd of September, 2000. As a result, a havoc flood condition was generated in the confluence zone of Ajay and Kunur Rivers. This hydrograph might be not only successful application for flood forecasting but also for management of the lower Ajay River Basin as well as the downstream area of Kunur Basin.
PubDate: Sat, 28 Dec 2013 14:17:08 +000
- An Evaluation of Data Collected by Middle School and College-Level
Students in Stream Channel Geomorphic Assessment
Abstract: This project tested the accuracy and repeatability of geomorphic stream channel assessments conducted by two different middle school classes from the Walt Morey Middle School in Troutdale, OR and college students from Portland State University in Portland, OR. Each group surveyed the same three cross-sections in Fairview Creek, a tributary to the Lower Columbia River, in order to assess stream channel geometry, discharge, composition of the bed material, and water quality. The three student groups were all able to accurately document the stream channel geometry, including stream width and mean depth, indicating that these data can be successfully collected by volunteers of various ages. However, stream velocity obtained using the float method was consistently overestimated leading to a biased calculation of discharge, and the low precision of the measurements did not allow for a correction of the bias. The median particle size of the bed material determined by a pebble count was also overestimated by each group, but the low precision also negated the possibility of correcting the estimate. The stored fine sediment in the bed was underestimated by each group and again with low precision. The temperature, pH, and conductivity measured with a calibrated multimeter were accurate and precise for all groups.
PubDate: Wed, 18 Dec 2013 13:14:38 +000
- Tectonic Control on Drainage Network Evolution in the Upper Narmada
Valley: Implication to Neotectonics
Abstract: Convergence of the Indian plate towards Eurasia is reflected in neotectonics along several zones throughout the Indian plate. Neotectonics of the upper Narmada river basin following one of the active Son-Narmada Fault (SNF central part) zones in central Peninsular India has been studied through tectonic geomorphometric parameters. The study area is 175 km wide and 400 km long valley and catchment area of upper Narmada river basin in Madhya Pradesh state. High resolution ASTER data indicates neotectonic features like sudden changes in drop of Narmada river floor at two locations around Jabalpur formed by conjugate normal faults. Cross profiles indicate uplift of the entire area by a few hundred meters south of the Son-Narmada south fault. Basin asymmetry parameter indicates northward shifting of the river course from middle of the basin due to uplift of the southern block.
PubDate: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 18:52:57 +000
- Distribution of Industrial Farms in the United States and Socioeconomic,
Health, and Environmental Characteristics of Counties
Abstract: The method of producing food animals has changed in the United States over the past century, moving from traditional burns to enclosed structures resembling industrial buildings, where animals are raised in high stocking density (commonly known as “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations,” CAFOs). The objective to maximize profit has resulted in poor farm management; raised issues of environmental pollution, public health, animal rights, and environmental justice, and had socio-economic impacts. Studies concerning the issues are limited to specific regions and types of CAFOs. In addition, studies on the spatial distribution and temporal changes of CAFO at a country scale are lacking. This study bridges some of the gaps by analyzing the spatial distribution of industrial farms in the United States in 2002 and 2007 and their relationship with vulnerable population and exploring the relationships among the concentrations of farms, socio-economic, health, and environmental characteristics of the counties. A range of spatial statistics tools were applied in this study. The study revealed variations in spatial distribution depending on the type of the CAFOs. The issue of environmental justice was found prevalent depending on the types of industrial farms. Each type of industrial farm was found to interact uniquely with the selected demographic, health, and environmental parameters.
PubDate: Tue, 13 Aug 2013 15:03:18 +000
- Spatial-Temporal Analysis of the Economic and Environmental Coordination
Development Degree in Liaoning Province
Abstract: This study selects 20 indices of economic and environmental conditions over 15 years (1996–2010) for 14 cities in Liaoning province, China. We calculate the economic score and environmental score of each city by processing 4200 data points through SPSS 16.0 and establish synthesis functions between the economy and the environment. For the time dimension, we study the temporal evolution of the economic and environmental coordination development degree . Based on Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) techniques and using GeoDa, we calculate Moran's index of local spatial autocorrelation and explore the spatial distribution character of in Liaoning province through a LISA cluster map. As we found in the temporal dimension, the results show that of the 14 cities has been rising for 15 years and that increases year by year, which indicates that the economic and environmental coordination development condition has been improving from disorder to highly coordinated. A smaller gap between economic strength and environmental carrying capacity in Liaoning province exists, which means that economic development and environmental protection remain synchronized. In the spatial dimension, the highly coordinated cities have changed from a scattering to a concentration in the middle-south region of Liaoning province. Poorly coordinated cities are scattered in the northwestern region of Liaoning province.
PubDate: Wed, 10 Jul 2013 13:13:47 +000
- Morphometric Analysis to Infer Hydrological Behaviour of Lidder Watershed,
Western Himalaya, India
Abstract: West Lidder River, in the Northwest Greater-Himalayan mountain range, is the major source of irrigation and drinking water supplies for the Kashmir Valley with a population of seven million people. The major source of water for the whole Lidder River is snow and icemelt emanating from its two subcatchments East Lidder and West Lidder. Snowmelt significantly contributes to the evolution of drainage patterns in this area. Quantitative morphometry plays a vital role in routing the snowmelt and other hydrological processes. Morphometric analysis of the West Lidder River catchment was carried out using geospatial technique. The outcome revealed that the entire study area has uniform lithology and is structurally permeable. The high drainage density of all subwatersheds indicate more surface runoff. The morphometric analysis also indicates that the area is more prone to weathering due to very-coarse to coarse drainage texture. All the subwatersheds showed dendritic to subdendritic drainage pattern. An immense control of structure on the drainage in some subwatersheds is indicated by their high bifurcation ratios. Circulatory and elongation ratios show that the subwatersheds have elongated to circular shapes. From the integrated analysis of the morphometric parameters, important hydrologic behaviour of 17 subwatersheds could be inferred.
PubDate: Sun, 07 Apr 2013 17:20:32 +000
- Climate Aridity under Changing Conditions and Implications for the
Agricultural Sector: Italy as a Case Study
Abstract: A comprehensive diachronic analysis (1951–2010) of precipitation and temperature regimes has been carried out at the national and regional scale in Italy to investigate the impact of climate aridity on the agricultural system. Trends in climate aridity have been also analysed using UNEP aridity index which is the ratio between rainfall and potential evapotranspiration on a yearly basis. During the examined time period, and particularly in the most recent years, a gradual reduction in rainfall and growing temperatures have been observed which have further widened the gap between precipitation amounts and water demand in agriculture.
PubDate: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:31:19 +000