Spatiotemporal Analysis of Vegetation Cover and Its Response to Terrain and Climate Factors in Duhok Governorate, Kurdistan Region, Iraq


  • Rebar Tahseen Mzuri Department of Geology, College of Science, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Abdulla Amir Omar Department of Geology, College of Science, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Yaseen Taha Mustafa Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Zakho, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Vegetation cover change, Terrain factor, Climate factor, Statistical analysis


The integration of remote sensing techniques and Geographic Information System has a wide use to quantify the spatial and temporal distribution of vegetation cover. Over the last decade, a remarkable change was noticed in both climate and vegetation cover in Duhok. The Modified Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (MSAVI2) was extracted from Landsat satellite images over the 20 years (2000 to 2019). For analyzing the vegetation changes, the terrain data including elevation, slope, and aspect and climate data temperature and precipitation are used. The result shows that from 2000–2019, the average mean MSAVI2 is 0.361 and the trend increased in 77.9% of the study area. The northern and northeastern areas of the study area revealed a significant increase in vegetation, while in the low land areas it is decreased. The amount of precipitation and temperature degree affect the spatiotemporal distribution of vegetation cover. The MSAVI2 showed a positive relationship with precipitation and temperature. At elevation less than 2000 m, with increasing elevation the MSAVI2 is increasing, but when the elevation reaches 2000 m, the MSAVI2 is decreasing and negatively related to elevation. The vegetation has a positive relation with slopes less than 45°, and at slopes higher than 45°, the MSAVI2 is decreased. The impact of aspect on the vegetation figured out that the largest MSAVI2 is detected in the shady slope due to relatively less evapotranspiration.