Detection of the Impact of Climate Change on Desertification and Sand Dunes Formation East of the Tigris River in Salah Al-Din Governorate Using Remote Sensing Techniques

  • Muaid Jassim Rasheed Department of geology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Fouad Khadim Mashee Al-Ramahi Remote sensing unit, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Keywords: Desertification, Sand dunes, Spectral indices, Remote sensing techniques


 The study deals with the geological situation of Earth's features, and the effect of climate on them, through monitoring changes that have occurred in Earth's features by applying supervised classification represented by maximum likelihood classification using GIS 10.7 for years 1990–2019 to produce maps of desertification and sand dunes encroachment. The factors forming the Earth's features in the study area vary due to the geological structure, geomorphological processes, and climatic factors, which requires an analysis of these processes and their impact on environmental components. The climate of the study area is characterized by continental characteristics causing significant differences in the geomorphological units of the region, especially sand dunes. The most important climate factors affecting the desertification and dunes are the temperature, evaporation, wind speed and rainfall. Three satellite images were used in this study, obtained from Landsat 5-8 besides, the rate annual of temperature, evaporation, wind speed and the total annual of rainfall obtained from European center ECMWF. To obtain high accuracy of classification, an Error Matrix and Kappa Coefficient was processed using ERDAS. The results showed clear changes in the Earth's features with climate during the entire period, where the increase in the rate of temperature and evaporation enhances desertification and encroachment of dunes due to the dryness of the area resulting from the decrease in rainfall rates due to the lack of vegetation growth, as the area of desertification increased to 3028 km2 in 2019, compared with 1990, while the area of dunes double, in the year 2019 compared to the year 1990. dune encroachment changed directly with the winds as a result of wind blowing in a northwestern direction, so the dunes expanded in the south and southwest direction at the expense of cultivated areas as they encroachments by 20 km compared to 1990.