Vulnerability Assessment of Land Degradation Using Network Analysis Process and Geographic Information System (Case Study: Maharloo-Bakhtegan Watershed)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student of Combating Desertification, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran Karaj, Iran

3 Professor. Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran Karaj, Iran

4 Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain


Identification of areas vulnerable to land degradation is essential for sustainable management of natural resources as one of the steps in the conservation framework. Identification of areas susceptible to degradation as well as determination of vulnerability to this phenomenon is one of the most important issues to an assessment of land degradation. This study tries to assess the land degradation vulnerability in Maharloo-Bakhtegan watershed using nine criteria including land use, vegetation, soil salinity, quantity and quality of groundwater, livestock density, literacy level, and population. In the first step, the relationships between the criteria were determined using the eDPSIR framework, then the weight of each criterion was determined using the ANP method. Fuzzing the layers, the map of land degradation vulnerability was provided by combining the layers using ArcGIS10.3 software. The results showed that the high class of vulnerability covers the highest area in all elevations class except for the first 200 m. the most vulnerable class was in the high class covering about 64.31% of the area. The high and medium classes of vulnerability include rangeland and agricultural land uses, respectively, indicating a high level of vulnerability and impact of human activities. This percentage of vulnerability in rangeland and agricultural land uses is due to the importance of land use and vegetation criteria having the highest weight among the criteria affecting the vulnerability to land degradation.


Main Subjects

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