Susceptibility mapping of gully erosion using GIS-based statistical bivariate models: a case study from Ali Al-Gharbi District, Maysan Governorate, southern Iraq

  • Alaa M. Al-Abadi
  • Ali K. Al-Ali
Original Article


This work aims to evaluate the predictive capability of three bivariate statistical models, namely information value, frequency ratio, and evidential belief functions, in gully erosion susceptibility mapping in northeastern Maysan Governorate (Ali Al-Gharbi District) in southern Iraq. The gully inventory map, consisting of 21 gullies of different sizes, was prepared based on the interpretation of remotely sensed data supported by field survey. The gully inventory data (polygon format) were randomly partitioned into two sets: 14 gullies for build and training the bivariate model, and the remaining 7 gullies for validating purposes. Twelve gully influential factors were selected based on data availability and the literature review. The selected factors were related to lithology, geomorphology, soil, land cover, and topography (primary and secondary) settings. Analysis of factor importance using information gain ratio proved that out of 12 gully influential factors, eight were of more importance in developing gullies (the average merit was greater than zero). The most important factors and the training gully inventory map were used to generate three gully erosion susceptibility maps based on the three bivariate models used. For validation, the area under the operating characteristics curves for both success and prediction rates was used. The results indicated that the highest prediction rate of 82.9% was achieved using the information value technique. All the bivariate models had prediction rates greater than 80%, and thus they were regarded as very good estimators. The final conclusion was that the bivariate models offer advanced techniques for mapping gully erosion susceptibility.


Gully erosion Bivariate statistical models Information gain ratio Maysan Governorate Iraq 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, College of ScienceUniversity of BasraBasraIraq

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