Investigation of Land Use Changes in North of Iran Using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (1986-2015)

  • Marzieh Ghodsi Department of Physical Geography (Geomorphology), Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Ebrahim Moghimi Department of Physical Geography (Geomorphology), Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Mojtaba Yamani Department of Physical Geography (Geomorphology), Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Mansour Jafarbigloo Department of Physical Geography (Geomorphology), Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
  • Sayed Mosa Hosseini Department of Physical Geography (Geomorphology), Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Land use, Deforestation, Remote Sensing, Classification, Neka.


Deforestation in Iran has been more rapid in the past 50 years than at any time in Iran’s history, and Neka basin located in the north of Iran has been subjected to severe deforestation problems. Detection of ecosystem changes may help decision makers and planners to understand the factors in land use and land cover changes in order to take effective and useful measures. Using remote sensing and GIS technologies are used as efficient tools for monitoring and evaluation land use change. In recent years, a considerable land use changes have occurred in in the Neka basin. This paper presents findings of an evaluation study that focused on the changes in land use changes in a great basin of Neka. The study was based on a spatial analysis of historical Landsat images (1986–2015) and several field measurements and observations. First, geometric correction and contrast stretch are applied. In order to detect and evaluate land use changes, image differencing, vegetation change analysis, principal component analysis and classification comparison have been applied. Finally, the results of land cover classification for three different times are compared to reveal land use changes. Relatively, agriculture, range and urban developed areas increased, respectively 84.70, 31.88 and 54.52 % from 1986 to 2015, while forest decreased 44.35%. With the greatest decrease occurring from 1991 to 1999. The overly analysis of the four land cover maps revealed that there is an imbalance in the spatial distribution of deforestation areas. The west and central part of the study area has mostly changed and deforestrated.From 1986 to 2015, forest, which covered 1245.53 km2 (47.79%) of the total area in 1986 had decreased to 693.60 (25.60.7%) in 2015. However, the rangelands increased from 1120.42 ha in 1986 to 1477.69 km2 in 20015.  


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