An assessment and Prediction of Temporal and Spatial Variations of Soil Salinity Using the Hybrid CA-Markov Model in Arid Regions: A Case Study of Minab Plain

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Arid and Mountainous Regions Reclamation, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2 Department of Agricultural Management and Development, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Soil salinity has sharply been increasing in recent decades due to improper use of basic resources. This issue has had severe harmful effects in different parts of Iran, especially in arid and semi-arid regions where the accumulation of soluble salts in soil surface has reduced crop yields and destroyed arable lands. Given the significance of this issue, the present research investigated the trend of temporal and spatial variations of soil salinity in Minab Plain for which the satellite images of 2001, 2011, and 2021 were used. The Envi5.1 software package was used to develop the soil salinity maps, and the hybrid CA-Markov model in the TerrSet software package was employed to study the soil salinity changes and predict it for the future period. The results showed that the land salinity would increase in these regions over time so that the area of very high salinity class has been 39.46, 45.26, and 63.09 km2 in 2001, 2011, and 2021, respectively. This increase was even greater in southern and southwestern parts of the plain. Furthermore, the prediction map showed the expansion of salinity in the studied region so that the highest area of salinity change rate in 2021 was found to be related to the very high salinity class (20.24%) and the area of very highly saline lands has increased from 12.20% to 29.62% from 2001 to 2021 whereas the area of moderately saline lands has decreased from 60.47% in 2001 to 13.88% in 2021. In general, an approach for preventing soil salinity aggravation in this region is to change the irrigation system to prevent severe water use and the loss of water quality, which would finally influence the soil to a lesser extent.


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