Forecasting Temporal and Spatial Climatological Influence for Land Suitability Evaluation in Bentota Sri Lanka
Climate change has raised much concern regarding its impacts on future land use planning, varying by region, time, and socio-economic development path. The principle purpose of land suitability evaluation is to predict the potential and limitation of the land for crop production and other land uses. This study was carried out to predict the temperature and rainfall trends as one of the major factor for evaluating land suitability. Climatic data such as monthly mean temperature, total monthly rainfall, maximum daily rainfall and total annual rainfall during last 30 years of all weather stations located in Bentota River basin was collected and analyzed applying time series analysis, correlation analysis and Manna Kendall trend test methods. Spatial distribution of forecast rainfall values was illustrated applying Arc GIS software. The findings revealed that monthly mean temperature and maximum daily rainfall had a general increasing trend whereas, total monthly rainfall and total annual rainfall showed a general decreasing trend in Bentota area. It was indicated relatively high rainfall situations during May and October while low rainfall situations during January and February by occurring flood situation in once per five year. During Yala season the area will be received comparatively more rainfall (331mm) than Maha season (300mm) in future. Community and the farmers in this area can be aware about the anticipated spatial distribution of total monthly rainfall during two major seasons and flood occurrence periods. Decision makers should evaluate land suitability of Bentota area by considering above climatological influences and its spatial distribution pattern that identified as major outcome of this research. The approach and the methodology adopted in this study will be useful for other researchers, agriculturalist and planners to identify the future climatological influences and its spatial distribution pattern for land suitability evaluations and other decision making purposes for other areas.
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