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Examining Rate of Built-Up Areas on the Vegetation Cover along River Riara Riparian within Kiambu Town, Kenya

Charles M. Mugambi, Mugwima Njuguna, Dennis Karanja

Abstract: Urban river riparian spaces and their natural systems are valuable to urban dwellers; but are increasingly affected and ruined by human activities and in particular, urbanization processes. In this research, land sat and sentinel satellite imagery apt for change detection in vegetation cover, both landsat and sentinel imagery, covering the period between 1970 and 2021 in epochs of 1973, 1984, 1993, 2003, 2015 and 2021 years were used to establish the correlation between vegetation cover and built-up area along River Riara river reserve. The images were analysed to extract the built-up areas along the river reserve, including the buildings, and the rate of human settlements, which influenced vegetation cover. Normalized Difference Built-Up Index (NDBI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were computed using the Short-Wave Infrared (SWIR) and the Near Infra-Red (NIR) bands to show the rate of change over the years. Results indicate NDVI values were high, compared to NDBI values along river Riara in the years 1973 and 1993 implying that there was more vegetation cover then. However, in the year 2021, the NDVI indicated the highest value at 0.88, with the complementary NDBI indicating the highest NDBI value at 0.47. This represents a significant increase in built-up areas since 2015 more than in previous epochs. Either, there was a significant increase in NDBI values, from 0.24 in 1993 to 0.47 in 2021. More so, the R-squared value at 0.80 informed 80% relationship between NDBI and NDVI values indicating a negative correlation.
Keywords: Ecological Conservation / Urban Riparian Reserves / Vegetation Cover Index / Built-Up Area Index / NDVI / NDBI

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