Sand dune encroachment and desertification processes of the rigboland Sand Sea, Central Iran

Hesam Ahmady-Birgani, Kenneth G. McQueen, Mazaher Moeinaddini, Hamidreza Naseri

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Abstract

Early studies on sand dune movement and desertification in Iran have not always been convincingly demonstrated because of problems with the field-based measurements. In some areas where various land uses have been engulfed by aeolian sand dunes, desertification is clear, but in other less settled areas, it may not be so obvious. The objective of this study is to demonstrate encroachments of the Rigboland sand sea, central Iran, in its different directions and variable magnitude rates. Determining the rate and direction of the sand sea movements is critical for specifying which lands should be prioritized and quickly protected. The study has trialed a change detection technique which uses a Cross-Tabulation module to compare two available LandsatTM images over the Rigboland sand sea. This indicates that within a ten-year span (from 1988 to 1998) more than 200 ha/yr were added to the Rigboland sand sea, from the alluvial fan landforms in the eastern upstream, outer margins of the Rigboland sand sea. Coupled with GIS techniques, this type of analysis of the remote sensing (RS) images provides an effective tool for the monitoring and prognostication of sand dune movement and sand sea change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1523
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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