Risk Assessment of Drifting Sand in Agricultural Lands in Basrah Province with the aid of ‘3S’ Techniques
Keywords:Drifting sand, ‘3S’ technologies, WEQ, Basrah Province, Iraq
There is a growing need to systematically assessment of drifting sand risk using Geo-information and related technologies for speed and accuracy. The drifting sand map in the southern part of Iraq was established with objective of providing the risk areas of soil loss and the methodology for spatial modeling with Wind Erosion Equation (WEQ) and Geo-information techniques. This analysis was carried out using ‘3S’ technologies [Remote Sensing (RS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Position System (GPS)], with the layers extracted and manipulated from available topographic, climatic and soil maps, as well as satellite image (Thematic Mapping (TM) in 2003 and Enhanced Thematic Mapping (ETM) in 2016) and field survey data analyses. Each of the WEQ factors was digitally encoded in a GIS database to establish each factor’s layers. Simultaneously, the overlay operation with the WEQ model on the factor’s layers was digitally performed to produce the sandy degradation class. The study indicated that the severe erosion class covering an area of about 61.9% of the total area is very high with the degraded vegetation and is located in the southwest part of Iraq. Iraq faces serious environmental degradation problems that must be addressed immediately; failure to do so will greatly compound the cost and complexity of later remedial efforts, with environmental degradation beginning even now to pose a major threat to human well-being, especially among the poor.
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