ASSESSMENT AND MAPPING OF IRAN DESERTIFICATION INTENSITY USING ARCGIS ENVIRONMENT
Desertification phenomenon is described as one of the most obvious forms of natural resources degradation in the world. This phenomenon, which occurs because of natural factors or anthropogenic factors, is accounted as the third most important global challenge after crisis of water shortage and drought in the 21st century. Awareness of desertification criteria and indicators, investigation of a regional model and determining the most important factors affecting desertification are essential for combating desertification. So in this study, IMDPA model (Iranian Model of Desertification Potential Assessment) was used in order to prepare Atlas of Iran desertification. 8 criteria and 130 indicators affecting desertification have determined for this model. Regarding to these criteria and indicators and quantifying them in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid region of Iran, the map of desertification intensity was prepared. The results of this study showed that 88.73% of the country surface was affected by desertification that is equal to 143365238.6 hectare. The surface more than 49425703.3 hectare equal to 30.59% of total surface of country was in low desertification class, the surface more than 935677913.6 hectare equal to 57.91% was in class II or medium and the surface about 371621.7 hectare equal to 0.23% was in class III or intense. Class IV of desertification or very intense was omitted regarding to IMDPA model and 8 criteria, and natural desert areas which their surface was equal to 15624274.3 hectare or 9.67% is beyond this class.