Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
The Caspian Region includes the Caspian Sea and five littoral states: Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russian. 40% of the Caspian coastal zone is arid, 69% of this territory undergone desertification according to international reports. Among the reasons are soil erosion caused by water, wind and irrigation, the salinization of soil, intense bioresources usage, and soil pollution due to oil extraction and production. Desertification is a serious problem, at global, national and local scales. It is important to know what should be sustained or developed in order to protect land from desertification. The generalization of data over desertification processes in Caspian countries, studying the dynamics of this process in space and time could help facilitate measures to counter regional desertification.
To understand Caspian Region coastal desertification phenomenon, vegetation cover satellite images for the years 1982 – 2006 were investigated to give map vegetation changes over time. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data for this study was derived from the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) dataset, with the spatial resolution of 8 km.
A coastal strip 160 km from the coast, divided by countries, was investigated. Theanalyses were focused on extent and severity of vegetation cover degradation, and possible causes such as landscape, land use history and culture, climatic changes and policies. The aim was to address questions related to desertification phenomenon, by focusing on Caspian Region time-series of vegetation cover data and investigation patterns of desertification in the region.
In this study evidence of land degradation in the Caspian Region countries was found to occur on local scales or sub-national scales rather than across the regional as a whole. Changes in vegetation cover revealed by AVHRR NDVI appeared to be reversible in character and were dependent on the climate conditions, and anthropogenic impact in approximately equal proportions.
2010. , 67 p.
Caspian Region, desertification, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), ENVI, ArcGIS