Assessing and mapping desertification hazard using desertification indicator system for Mediterranean Europe (Case study: Miandoab Plain of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran)

Document Type: Original Article


1 Rangeland and Watershed Management Department, Faculty of Natural Resources, Urmia University

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Department of Arid Zone Management, Faculty of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (GUASNR), Gorgan, Iran



There are many hazards putting human life in danger; they are also influenced by human activities. Desertification in the natural environment and agricultural lands is one of the most critical threats for human life in drylands. In this research, the Desertification Indicator System for Mediterranean Europe (DIS4ME) was applied to evaluate the current status of desertification in the Miandoab plain, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. In this model, there are four main indicators of climate, vegetation, soil, and land management; each of them was divided into measurable parameters used to calculate the severity of desertification. The study findings show that the desertification severity is due to vegetation and land management quality, whose low-quality levels cover 96.7%, and 76.6.4% of the study area, respectively. Desertification status also indicates that 97% of the study area has a severe critical class. Considering the anthropological induced hazard of desertification, it is necessary to apply proper land management.