Remote sensing of land use/cover changes and its effect on wind erosion potential in southern Iran

Mahrooz Rezaei*, Abdolmajid Sameni, Seyed Rashid Fallah Shamsi, Harm Bartholomeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Wind erosion is a complex process influenced by different factors. Most of these factors are stable over time, but land use/cover and land management practices are changing gradually. Therefore, this research investigates the impact of changing land use/cover and land management on wind erosion potential in southern Iran. We used remote sensing data (Landsat ETM+ and Landsat 8 imagery of 2004 and 2013) for land use/cover mapping and employed the Iran Research Institute of Forest and Rangeland (IRIFR) method to estimate changes in wind erosion potential. For an optimal mapping, the performance of different classification algorithms and input layers was tested. The amount of changes in wind erosion and land use/cover were quantified using cross-tabulation between the two years. To discriminate land use/cover related to wind erosion, the best results were obtained by combining the original spectral bands with synthetic bands and using Maximum Likelihood classification algorithm (Kappa Coefficient of 0.8 and 0.9 for Landsat ETM+ and Landsat 8, respectively). The IRIFR modelling results indicate that the wind erosion potential has increased over the last decade. The areas with a very high sediment yield potential have increased, whereas the areas with a low, medium, and high sediment yield potential decreased. The area with a very low sediment yield potential have remained constant. When comparing the change in erosion potential with land use/cover change, it is evident that soil erosion potential has increased mostly in accordance with the increase of the area of agricultural practices. The conversion of rangeland to agricultural land was a major land-use change which lead to more agricultural practices and associated soil loss. Moreover, results indicate an increase in sandification in the study area which is also a clear evidence of increasing in soil erosion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1948
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Iran
  • Land use/cover change
  • Remote sensing
  • Wind erosion


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