Assessing the Plans Designed to Combat Desertification Using Statistical Analysis of Satellite Images: A Case Study of Kashan Plain, Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student in Combating Desertification, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran

2 Department of Combating desertification, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Ecotourism Department, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth Sciences, University of Kashan, Kashan, Iran



Seeking to combat desertification as a major environmental hazard, especially in recent decades, experts have offered some projects to be implemented in this regard, trying to reduce the destructive effects of the phenomenon. Therefore, assessing the projects implemented in this regard can help improve the management of desertification and the adoption of relevant appropriate decisions in the future. This study, thus, set out to compare the alterations made in the vegetation of the Kashan plain as a result of the implementation of five desertification combat plans using statistical techniques and the Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series of Landsat satellite collected from the 2003 to 2020. The study’s results indicated that the average NDVI index in the studied areas increased following the implementation of the plans. On the other hand, the results of examining the trend of the NDVI index time series showed that vegetation density within the plain had an increasing trend throughout the study period. However, it was found that from 2008 to 2010, the trend changed in all five series, with positive trends being created or reinforced when the projects to combat desertification were carried out. Therefore, it can be concluded that the projects have at least increased the vegetation density, creating a positive trend with a gentle slope.


  1. Akbari, M., Karim zadeh, H.r., Modares, R. and Chakoshi, B., 2007. Assessment and Classification of Desertification Using RS & GIS Techniques (Case Study: the Arid Region, in the North of Isfahan). 14(2): 124-142.
  2. Akbari, M., Memarian, H., Neamatollahi, , Shalamzari, M.J., Noughani, M.A. and Zakeri, D., 2021. Prioritizing policies and strategies for desertification risk management using MCDM–DPSIR approach in northeastern Iran. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 23(2): 2503-2523.
  3. Akbari, M., Modarres, R. and Noughani, M.A., 2020a. Assessing early warning for desertification hazard based on E-SMART indicators in arid regions of northeastern Iran. Journal of Arid Environments, 174104086.
  4. Akbari, M., Shalamzari, M.J., Memarian, H. and Gholami, A., 2020b. Monitoring desertification processes using ecological indicators and providing management programs in arid regions of Iran. Ecological Indicators, 111106011.
  5. Amiraslani, F. and Dragovich, D., 2011. Combating desertification in Iran over the last 50 years: an overview of changing approaches. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(1): 1-13.
  6. Arami, A., Ownegh, M. and Sheikh, V., 2013. Assessment of desertification risk in semi-arid Agh-Band Region, Golestan Province, Iran. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences, 5(17): 1901.
  7. Dawelbait, M. and Morari, F., 2012. Monitoring desertification in a Savannah region in Sudan using Landsat images and spectral mixture analysis. Journal of Arid Environments, 8045-55.
  8. Eskandari Dameneh, H., Gholami, H., Telfer, M.W., Comino, J.R., Collins, A.L. and Jansen, J.D., 2021. Desertification of Iran in the early twenty-first century: assessment using climate and vegetation indices. Scientific Reports, 11(1): 1-18.
  9. Filei, A., Slesarenko, L., Boroditskaya, A. and Mishigdorj, O., 2018. Analysis of desertification in Mongolia. Russian Meteorology and Hydrology, 43(9): 599-606.
  10. Geeson, N., Quaranta, G., Salvia, R. and Brandt, J., 2015. Long-term involvement of stakeholders in research projects on desertification and land degradation: How has their perception of the issues changed and what strategies have emerged for combating desertification? Journal of Arid Environments, 114124-133.
  11. Hanteh, A., Zargham, N., Jafari, M., Moghadam, M.R. and Zare Chahouki, M.A., 2004. Effects Of Atriplex Canescens On Vegetation Characteristics Case Study: Zarand, Saveh. Desert, 9(2): 345-360.
  12. Hill, J., Stellmes, M., Udelhoven, T., Röder, A. and Sommer, S., 2008. Mediterranean desertification and land degradation: mapping related land use change syndromes based on satellite observations. Global and Planetary Change, 64(3-4), 146-157
  13. Jafari, M., Hayati, J., Zargham, N., Azarnivand, H. and Soufi, M., 2005. Survey And Assessment Of Combating Desertification Project (Case Study In Lamerd Plain Of Fars Province). Geographical Research Quaterly, 36(50): 199-213.
  14. Jafari, R. and Abedi, M., 2021. Remote sensing‐based biological and nonbiological indices for evaluating desertification in Iran: Image versus field indices. Land Degradation & Development, 32(9): 2805-2822.
  15. Jaiswal, R., Lohani, A. and Tiwari, H., 2015. Statistical analysis for change detection and trend assessment in climatological parameters. Environmental Processes, 2(4): 729-749.
  16. Lamqadem, A.A., Saber, H. and Pradhan, B., 2018. Quantitative assessment of desertification in an arid oasis using remote sensing data and spectral index techniques. Remote Sensing, 10(12): 1862.
  17. Li, J., Yang, X., Jin, Y., Yang, Z., Huang, W., Zhao, L., Gao, T., Yu, H., Ma, H. and Qin, Z., 2013. Monitoring and analysis of grassland desertification dynamics using Landsat images in Ningxia, China. Remote Sensing of Environment, 13819-26.
  18. Li, Y., Cao, Z., Long, H., Liu, Y. and Li, W., 2017. Dynamic analysis of ecological environment combined with land cover and NDVI changes and implications for sustainable urban–rural development: The case of Mu Us Sandy Land, China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142697-715.
  19. Liu, J., Ren, Y., Tao, H. and Shalamzari, M.J., 2021. Spatial and Temporal Variation Characteristics of Heatwaves in Recent Decades over China. Remote Sensing, 3824: (19)13.
  20. Mutti, P.R., Lúcio, P.S., Dubreuil, V. and Bezerra, B.G., 2020. NDVI time series stochastic models for the forecast of vegetation dynamics over desertification hotspots. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 41(7): 2759-2788.
  21. Nazari Samani, A., Heravi, H., Panahi, M. and Jafari Shalamzari, M., 2013. Effect of Land-use and Precipitation Changes on Sediment Yield) Case Study: Taleghan Watershed. Journal of Range and Watershed Managment, 66(1): 157-165.
  22. Sarparast, M., Ownegh, M. and Sepehr, A., 2020. Evaluating the impacts of combating-action programs on desertification hazard trends: A case study of Taybad-Bakharz region, northeastern Iran. Environmental and Sustainability Indicators, 7100043.
  23. Sen, P.K., 1968. Estimates of the regression coefficient based on Kendall's tau. Journal of the American statistical association, 63 (324): 1379-1389.
  24. Soltaninejad, M., Jafari, M., Noroozi, A. and Javadi, S.A., 2021. Evaluation of vegetation changes in desertification projects using remote sensing techniques in Bam, Shahdad and Garmsar regions, Iran. Caspian Journal of Environmental Sciences, 19(1): 47-57.
  25. Soltaninejad, M., Jafari, M., Noroozi, A.A. and Javadi, S.A., 2019. Evaluation Of Vegetation Changes In Desertification Projects Using Rs-Gis Techniques. Arid Biome Scientific Research, 9(1): 139-151.
  26. Sousa, W.R., Bandeira, C.L., Ribeiro, E.C., Castro, A.F., Bustos, H.I. and Silva, M.P., 2012. Monitoring of Desertification Processes through Trend Estimates of Time Series, 4th International Conference on Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis, Proceedings of the 4th GEOBIA, pp. 7-9.
  27. Vorovencii, I., 2017. Applying the change vector analysis technique to assess the desertification risk in the south-west of Romania in the period 1984–2011. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 189(10): 1-18.
  28. Wakeel, A., Rao, K., Maikhuri, R. and Saxena, K., 2005. Forest management and land use/cover changes in a typical micro watershed in the mid elevation zone of Central Himalaya, India. Forest Ecology and Management, 213(1-3): 229-242.
  29. Zhang, Z. and Huisingh, D., 2018. Combating desertification in China: Monitoring, control, management and revegetation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 182765-775.