Effects of Wind Erosion and Soil Salinization on Dust Storm Emission in Western Iran

Document Type : Research and Full Length Article


1 Department of Range and Watershed Management, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran

2 Landscape Engineering Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran


Dust storms are known as hazardous problems in western part of Iran. Iraq is one of the main sources for dust storm arriving to the western part of Iran. The Radial Basis Function Network model (RBFN) has been used to assess wind erosion hazards in the source area of dust storms over several western Iranian cities. Normalized Difference Salinity Index (NDSI) was used to determine the changes in the source area salinity over the studied years. The RBFN model has been used to assess the wind erosion severity of all land uses in the source area. Generally, NDSI values of all land uses in 2003 were higher than those in 2013. The maximum and minimum mean NDSI values were seen in severely dissected plains and mountainous lands, respectively. The observed differences in the wind erosion hazard maps of 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 were due to the changes in vegetation percent. Soil salinization caused the source area vegetation degradation and wind erosion exacerbation. So, the occurrences of dust storms in Western parts of Iran have become more frequent. The in situ observations showedthat there were two, five, five, twelve and nine records of pervasive dust storms in western parts of Iran in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, respectively.


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