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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-343
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
11 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
A New Approach for Land Degradation and Desertification Assessment Using Geospatial Techniques
Masoud Masoudi1, Parviz Jokar2, and Biswajeet Pradhan3 1Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Iran
2Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Iran
3School of Systems, Management and Leadership, Faculty of Engineering and InformationTechnology, University of Technology Sydney, Building 11, Level 06, 81 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007 (P.O. Box 123), Australia
Abstract. Land degradation reduces production of biomass and vegetation cover in every land uses. The lack of specific data related to degradation is a severe limitation for its monitoring. Assessment of current state of land degradation or desertification is very difficult because this phenomena includes several complex processes. For that reason, there is no common agreement has been achieved among the scientific community for its assessment. This study was carried out as an attempt to develop a new approach for land degradation assessment based on its current state by modifying of FAO1/UNEP2 index and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) index in Khuzestan province, placed in the southwestern part of Iran. The proposed evaluation method is easy to understand the degree of destruction due to low cost and save time. Results showed that based on percent of hazard classes in current condition of land degradation, the most widespread and minimum area of hazard classes are moderate (38.6 %) and no hazard (0.65 %) classes, respectively. While results in the desert area of study area showed that severe class is much widespread than other hazard classes, showing environmentally bad situation in the study area. Statistical results indicated that degradation is highest in desert and then rangeland compared to dry cultivation and forest. Also statistical test showed average of degradation amount in the arid region is higher than other climates. It is hoped that this attempt using geospatial techniques will be found applicable for other regions of the world and better planning and management of lands, too.

1 Food and Agriculture Organization
2 United Nations Environment Programme


Citation: Masoudi, M., Jokar, P., and Pradhan, B.: A New Approach for Land Degradation and Desertification Assessment Using Geospatial Techniques, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-343, in review, 2017.
Masoud Masoudi et al.
Masoud Masoudi et al.
Masoud Masoudi et al.

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Short summary
The paper attempts at evolving a new technique for assessing current state of land degradation. Assessment of current state of land degradation is difficult because this phenomena includes complex process. This assessment using RS and GIS seems to be more realistic in finding the degree of degradation because it is more related to its impact on land productivity. It is hoped that this attempt, which is the first attempt of its kind in the world, will be found applicable for other regions.
The paper attempts at evolving a new technique for assessing current state of land degradation....
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