The Dynamics of Land Use Land Cover and its Driving Forces in Mekelle City Region, Ethiopia

Shishay Kiros Weldegebriel

Ethiopian Civil Service University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Kumelachew Yeshitela

Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Keywords: City region, Drivers, ERDAS, Land use/land cover changes, Remote sensing, Spatio-tempo.


The rationale of this study was to study the spatio-tempo LULC dynamics over the past 47 years and identifying the major drivers of these changes. It was conducted in Mekelle city region, northern Ethiopia which is highly susceptible to environmental degradation. This landscape-scale level study employs a combination of analysis of satellite imageries, information from field studies, document review, key informant interview and observation. Digital satellite images were processed, classified and analysed by ERDAS Imagine. Computations of the area changes in the land use categories was made using supervised classification by applying maximum likelihood classifier algorithm and finally post-classification change detection technique was undertaken using Arc GIS 10.5.1. For stastical analysis of variables spatial autocorrelation and structural equation model was used. During the study period between 1972 and 2019 about 60,705.56 hectares of the total landscape of the study area was converted from one LULC type to another. The findings show increase was observed in cultivated land, built-up area and bushes and shrubs. On the other hand, natural forest, water body and bare lands were dramatically declined. Among the driving factors; climate variability, population growth, DEM and slope were identified as the leading land use and land cover change drivers. Thus, spatial planners need to take these drivers into consideration and make sound decisions regarding changes in LULC during decision makings.


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