A fast-growing city in India is a study area for urban impervious surface and the urban heat island effect. Located in western India about 120 kilometers southeast of the coastal city Mumbai, Pune is known as an educational and industrial center. Its population has grown from 450,000 in 1950 to nearly 8 million in 2021. People from rural areas are migrating to the city for better employment opportunities. The education and industrial sectors are also attracting people to Pune from other countries.
False-color Landsat images show the steady expansion of the Pune metropolitan area. Forests cover higher elevation land, shown in bright green mostly to the west. Dull colors are shrubland and grassland, which occupy the lower elevations. However, urban land—the lavender and purple hues—has been expanding over grasslands, barren, and agricultural land.
Pune’s proximity to Mumbai is also leading to its growth. The Mumbai–Pune expressway has reduced travel time between the two cities, so Pune has become a destination for those looking for housing away from Mumbai.
West of Pune is the Western Ghats mountain range, a relatively low range of forested mountains. One of the peaks west of Pune reaches just over 1,220 meters (4,000 feet) of elevation. Rivers flow out of the mountain range toward the east—reservoirs along the rivers store water for the populations downstream. The Mula River and the Mutha River meet in Pune to form the Mula-Mutha River as it flows toward the east.
In such a large city as Pune where the population is growing and those built-up surfaces are expanding so rapidly, the associated effects of streamflow changes and the urban heat island effect need to be measured and monitored.
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