In this study, the MEDALUS model along with GIS mapping techniques are used to determine desertification hazards for a province of Iran to determine the desertification hazard. After creating a desertification database including 20 parameters, the first steps consisted of developing maps of four indices for the MEDALUS model including climate, soil, vegetation and land use were prepared. Since these parameters have mostly been presented for the Mediterranean region in the past, the next step included the addition of other indicators such as ground water and wind erosion. Then all of the layers weighted by environmental conditions present in the area were used (following the same MEDALUS framework) before a desertification map was prepared. The comparison of two maps based on the original and modified MEDALUS models indicates that the addition of more regionally-specific parameters into the model allows for a more accurate representation of desertification processes across the Iyzad Khast plain. The major factors affecting desertification in the area are climate, wind erosion and low land quality management, vegetation degradation and the salinization of soil and water resources.
Manuchehr Farajzadeh and Mahbobeh Nik Egbal , 2007. Evaluation of MEDALUS Model for Desertification Hazard Zonation Using GIS; Study Area: Iyzad Khast Plain, Iran
. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 10: 2622-2630.