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Assessment of Vegetation Variation on Primarily Creation Zones of the Dust Storms Around the Euphrates Using Remote Sensing Images

Author(s): Jamil Amanollahi | Shahram Kboodvandpour | Ahmad Makmom Abdullah | Parinaz Rashidi

Journal: EnvironmentAsia
ISSN 1906-1714

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Landsat TM5 | NDVI | MODIS | dust storm | Iran

Recently, period frequency and effect domain of the dust storms that enter Iran from Iraq have increased. In this study, in addition to detecting the creation zones of the dust storms, the effect of vegetation cover variation on their creation was investigated using remote sensing. Moderate resolution image Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5) have been utilized to identify the primarily creation zones of the dust storms and to assess the vegetation cover variation, respectively. Vegetation cover variation was studied using Normalized Differences Vegetation Index (NDVI) obtained from band 3 and band 4 of the Landsate satellite. The results showed that the surrounding area of the Euphrates in Syria, the desert in the vicinity of this river in Iraq, including the deserts of Alanbar Province, and the north deserts of Saudi Arabia are the primarily creation zones of the dust storms entering west and south west of Iran. The results of NDVI showed that excluding the deserts in the border of Syria and Iraq, the area with very weak vegetation cover have increased between 2.44% and 20.65% from 1991 to 2009. In the meanwhile, the retention pound surface areas in the south deserts of Syria as well as the deserts in its border with Iraq have decreased 6320 and 4397 hectares, respectively. As it can be concluded from the findings, one of the main environmental parameters initiating these dust storms is the decrease in the vegetation cover in their primarily creation zones.

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