Earth Observation (EO) data for desertification indicators

Photo credit: CERENA

Development of EO indicators for the Dynamic of Desertification in Southern Africa

This is a one year project involving a partnership with ISEGI, Mondelane U. and U. DELFT.

The aim of this project is the analysis of new dynamics of desertification in the region Southern Africa ( Mozambique , Zimbabwe and Northern part of South Africa ) by using and implementing the main achievements of the DW –E, a methodology developed by CERENA and a standard processing chain over Earth Observation data, in order to produce desertification indicators, allowing the monitoring of areas subject or in risk of desertification.

A second objective is to propose new methods for integration of EO data with different spatial and spectral resolutions, namely the new ESA Proba- V mission with products ranging in spatial resolution from 100m to 1km , and new field data in particular the survey and risk map of natural disasters made between 2010 and 2011 for Mozambique.

Read the full article: CERENA


The partial greening of the Sahel and climate change

Photo credit: Marc Pille

Reforestation project with Jatropha curcas in Mali 2009-10

A climate model-based review of drought in the Sahel: Desertification, the re-greening and climate change

by Alessandra Giannini Michela Biasutti

and Michel M. Verstraete


We review the evidence that connects drought and desertification in the Sahel with climate change past, present and future.  Advances in climate modeling point to the oceans, not land, as the cause of the recent persistence of drought in the Sahel.

The current generation of global climate models reproduces the spatial extent, continental in scale, and the timing and duration of the shift to dry conditions that occurred in the late 1960’s given knowledge of observed surface oceanic conditions only.

The pattern statistically and dynamically associated with drought is one of warming of the tropical oceans, especially the Pacific and Indian Oceans, superimposed on an enhanced warming of the southern compared to the northern hemisphere most evident in the Atlantic.

These models, which include a prognostic description of land surface and/or vegetation, albeit crude, indicate that positive feedbacks between precipitation and land surface/cover may act to amplify the ocean-forced component of continental climate.

Despite the advances made in understanding the recent past, uncertainty dominates as we move forward in time, to the present, partial greening of the Sahel, and to the future of climate change projections.

Read the full article: Science Direct


Appropriate indicators of land-cover modifications

Photo credit: Pixabay

Monitoring land-cover changes in semi-arid regions: remote sensing data and field observations in the Ferlo, Senegal

by A. Diouf and E.F. Lambin


Dryland degradation rarely translates into linear, declining trends in vegetation cover due to interannual climatic variability. Appropriate indicators of land-cover modifications need to be defined for semi-arid regions.

Our hypothesis is that degradation can be measured by:

  • (1) a decrease in the resilience of vegetation to droughts;
  • (2) a decrease in rain-use efficiency; and
  • (3) a modification of floristic composition.

The objective of this paper is to test the relationships between a remotely sensed indicator of vegetation, rainfall data and field measurements of biomass and floristic composition.

The study was based on field measurements of vegetation conditions covering a period of 10 years, in the semi-arid region of the Ferlo in Senegal.

Our results indicate that land-cover modifications in the Ferlo are best measured by changes in rain-use efficiency. No consistent trend in the relative abundance of grass species was visible at the scale of the decade, even on the two sites affected by degradation. Just after a drought, a given increase in rainfall results in less biomass production than is the case for normal years.

Read the full article: Science Direct

Alarming increase in the spread of sand dunes in India (Google / Directions Magazine India)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

Andhra Pradesh State Remote Sensing Applications Centre study reveals desertification and land degradation

Andhra Pradesh State Remote Sensing Applications Centre has revealed an alarming increase in the spread of sand dunes, as 0.32 sq. km of land is being covered by sand dunes every year since the last 10 years.
The study revealed different signs of desertification and land degradation in the study area as judged by change in patterns of land use and land cover types. These changes indicated an increase of degrading land, vegetation cover, sandy soil and sandy clay in the study area. Desertification is one of the main problems threatening the agricultural production The study aimed at monitoring and assessing desertification in area, in addition to investigating the potential use of remote sensing and GIS) in assessing and monitoring sand encroachment and vegetation degradation as desertification indicators in the semi-arid environment.

GIS techniques to assess desertification with IMDPA model in IRAN ( ijabr)

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Assessment of Land Degradation and Desertification with Use of IMDPA Model (Case Study; Chah-hashm Plain, Iran)

Article 4, Volume 2, Issue 10, October 2014, Page 2644-2650  XMLPDF (480 K)
Document Type: Original Article
1 Nasrollah Aslinezhad ; 2 Ahmad Pahlavanravi; 2 Nasrollah Basirani; 3 Mahdiye Ebrahimi; 4 Rasoul Kharazmi graduated of combating desertification, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
2Associate Professor, Department of Rang and watershed management, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran
3Assistant Professor, Department of Rang and watershed management, University of Zabol, Zabol ,Iran graduated of Information System and Technology, Moscow State University of Geodesy and Kartographi, Russian
Objective: More than 75 percent of Iran is located in arid and semi-arid then land degradation and desertification are one of the crises ecological. We require a proper understanding of causes and processes of desertification to control the huge phenomenon on the global and regional situation. Because southeast of Iran located in arid land then assessment of desertification is very importance for planning of project. Methods: In this study, using GIS techniques to assess desertification with IMDPA model in 27.020 Ha of Chah-hashm Plain. Results: Result show vegetation criteria (2.97) is more effective than climate criteria (2.68) and other hand aridity index (3.92) is most effective index and continuing drought (1.6) index is less effective index in this area. Result indicated intensity of desertification is in high class with 2.82 numerical value. In this area some limitations such as lack of rainfall, high temperatures, high evaporation, the instability and sensitivity to soil erosion is a natural limits of the area and cannot be control but with improved irrigation methods, education and extension service for the optimization use of agricultural land can be move to improve the situation and to assist in slowing desertification

Desertification and Coral Reef Mapping Projects in Morocco and Kuwait (Google

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

The Use of Pleiades and TerraSARX Imagery in Desertification and Coral Reef Mapping Projects in Morocco and Kuwait


The research reported in this poster relates to two doctoral research projects currently being undertaken at the University of South Australia. Project A (Alsharrah, Bouabid and Bruce) is focused on the use of high spatial resolution remote sensing to improve vegetation inputs to models for desertification and utilizes Pleiades, TerraSAR X, Rapideye, ASTER and Landsat imagery over an arid site on the slopes of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Project B (Gholoum, Alhazeem, Anderson and Bruce) concentrates on the use of high spatial resolution remote sensing to improve estimates of coral reef density for the Kubar coral reef system in Kuwaiti waters in the Arabian / Persian Gulf. In pr

oject B WorldView 2 (Multi-Spectral (MS)and Panchromatic (Pan)) imagery are being analyzedtogether with Pleiades-1B and Landsat imagery, and compared with quality field data to assess the accuracy of processing methods


Using the AHP method and GIS techniques to assess desertification in Iran (ijabbr)

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GIS-based Monitoring and EWSs of Desertification (Case study; southeastern of Iran)

Today one of the ecological crisis is the phenomenon of desertification that affecting the world.
Desertification is more related to social and anthropogenic issues than natural causes and it becomes more important over the time. Monitoring is the systematic collection and analysis of information as a project progresses.