Impact of Regional Rangeland Cover Degradation on Increasing Dusty Days in West of Iran

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources engineering, and Research Institute of Grapes and Raisins ,Malayer University, Malayer, Iran.

2 Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources engineering, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran.

3 Research institute of grape and raisin, Malayer University, Iran

Abstract

Dust events of Iran mainly originate from Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and inland territories which are influenced by droughts and Land Use/Land Cover (LU/LC) degradation in regional scale. The aim of this research was to investigate the impact of Regional Vegetation Cover Degradation (RVCD), particularly Regional Rangeland Cover Degradation (RRCD) on frequency of dusty days in western provinces of Iran (Khorramabad, Ahvaz, Hamadan and Kermanshah) since 2000. Therefore, the LU/LC and RRCD were evaluated with respect to time-series MODIS satellite images and NDVI Index. The trend of RRCD was predicted by Markov chain analysis for 2030, 2060 and 2100. The accuracy analysis of comparing the observed and predicted LU/LC classes to 2000 and 2016 indicated the absolute value of error around 5.49%. The findings showed that probability of changing from water body, high-cover and low-cover classes to non-cover class would probably be 55% and 62% during 2016-2030 and 2030-2060, respectively. Durability of non-cover class was 89% during 2000-2016. Thus, the area of non-cover class increased to 410 km2 in the study region. In general, it could be noted that increasing of RRCD and drought are the main causes of dusty days increasing from 2000 to 2060.

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