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Revista mexicana de ciencias geológicas

versión On-line ISSN 2007-2902versión impresa ISSN 1026-8774


PEREZ-GONZALEZ, Myrna Lorena et al. Spatio-temporal land-use changes in the Colima-Villa de Álvarez metropolitan area, and their relationship to floodings. Rev. mex. cienc. geol [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.2, pp.78-90. ISSN 2007-2902.

Demographic growth and consequent land-use changes are considered one of the main factors causing inundations in many cities in developing countries. During the last decade, the city of Colima, Mexico, has suffered from an increase in flooding events. These episodes mostly occurred during tropical rainstorms associated to hurricanes (such as Jova in 2011, Manuel in 2013, and Patricia in 2015, all with average accumulated rainfall of 200 mm in 24 h), as well as during short-duration, high-intensity rainfall events at the beginning of the rainy season. To define the mechanisms leading to the increased occurrence of floodings, a space-time analysis of land-use changes, coupled with the characterization of natural and urban soils, are presented here for the Colima metropolitan area. Three land-use categories were created: native land (N1), urban land (N4), and cultivated land (N5). Each of these categories has subcategories depending on vegetative cover and/or level of urbanization. SPOT imagery acquired in 2005, 2009, and 2015 was classified to analyze the spatial and temporal changes in land use. Thirty-two soil samples representative of different land uses were analyzed to obtain their physical and chemical properties such as granulometry, bulk and particle densities, porosity, and organic matter content. Hydraulic conductivity tests were performed in situ using a drip-infiltrometer device.

The temporal and spatial analysis of SPOT images revealed that most changes in land use correspond to urban area and cultivated land, the former showing an increase and the latter a drastic decrease, especially towards the northern part of the city, where urban growth is evident for the 2005-2009 period. Analyzed soils from cultivated land have the highest permeability, and engineered soils correspond to the least permeable soils in the area; consequently, replacement of agriculture with housing has significant impacts on the rainfall-runoff process. These results indicate that as more permeable land area is substituted by disturbed urban soils, the infiltration capability will be reduced, leading to increasing flooding frequency in the Colima-Villa de Álvarez metropolitan area. To prevent and reduce the disruptive impact of inundation in the Colima metropolitan area, it is recommended to have adequate management of land-use change and to conserve the permeable areas around the city. In addition, it is necessary to revise the hydraulic infrastructure of the existing urban areas and to properly define the most suitable locations for future ones. Avoiding development in flood-prone areas through planning and zoning ordinances may reduce loss of life and damage to property.

Palabras llave : flooding; land use; hydraulic conductivity; SPOT images; Colima; Mexico.

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