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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-146
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-146
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 May 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Spatial indicators for desertification in south-east Vietnam

Le Thi Thu Hien1, Anne Gobin2, and Pham Thi Thanh Huong3 Le Thi Thu Hien et al.
  • 1Institute of Geography, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), Hanoi, Vietnam
  • 2Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Mol, Belgium
  • 3The Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IMHEN), Hanoi, Vietnam

Abstract. Desertification is influenced by different factors that relate to climate, soil, topography, geology, vegetation, human pressure and land and water management. The quantification of these factors into spatially explicit indicators and subsequent evaluation provides for a framework that allows to identify areas currently at risk of desertification and to evaluate important contributing bio-physical and socio-economic factors. Applied to south-east Vietnam, a baseline 2010 map showed that 14.4 % of the area, mainly along the coast and in the north east, is desertified with another 35.4 % at severe risk of desertification. The Ministry of Environment has defined the area with a ratio of rainfall to evapotranspiration smaller or equal to 0.65, which equals 1,233 km2 or 15 % of the province, as desertified area. The developed framework allows for decision support in a what if structure, and for the projection of potentially vulnerable areas under future scenarios. With projected climate change and current population growth the desertified area is expected to increase with 122 % (or 137,850 ha) towards 2050. The methodology can be extended to neighbouring provinces that experience similar sensitivities to desertification.

Le Thi Thu Hien et al.
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Short summary
Desertification is influenced by different factors that relate to climate, natural resources and human pressure. In south-east Vietnam nearly 15 % of the area is desertified and another 35 % is at severe risk. With climate change and population growth the desertified area is projected to increase with 122 % towards 2050. We developed a framework that allows for decision support in a what-if structure, and that can be extended to regions that experience similar sensitivities.
Desertification is influenced by different factors that relate to climate, natural resources and...
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