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Quantitative assessment of desertification in south of Iran using MEDALUS method

  • A. Sepehr
  • A. M. Hassanli
  • M. R. Ekhtesasi
  • J. B. Jamali
Article

Abstract

The main aim of this study was the quantitative assessment of desertification process in the case study area of the Fidoye–Garmosht plain (Southern Iran). Based on the MEDALUS approach and the characteristics of study area a regional model developed using GIS. Six main factors or indicators of desertification including: soil, climate, erosion, plant cover, groundwater and management were considered for evaluation. Then several sub-indicators affecting the quality of each main indicator were identified. Based on the MEDALUS approach, each sub-indicator was quantified according to its quality and given a weighting of between 1.0 and 2.0. ArcGIS 9 was used to analyze and prepare the layers of quality maps using the geometric mean to integrate the individual sub-indicator maps.. In turn the geometric mean of all six quality maps was used to generate a single desertification status map. Results showed that 12% of the area is classified as very severe, 81% as severe and 7% as moderately affected by desertification. In addition the plant cover and groundwater indicators were the most important factors affecting desertification process in the study area. The model developed may be used to assess desertification process and distinguish the areas sensitive to desertification in the study region and in regions with the similar characteristics.

Keywords

Desertification assessment Desertification mapping MEDALUS GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Sepehr
    • 1
  • A. M. Hassanli
    • 1
  • M. R. Ekhtesasi
    • 2
  • J. B. Jamali
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Desert Regions ManagementShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Arid Lands and Desert Research Institute (ADRI)Yazd UniversityYazdIran
  3. 3.Iran Meteorological OrganizationTehranIran

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