Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. in desertification, College of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Associated Prof. in watershed management College of Natural Resources, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

3 Assisstant Prof. in Natural resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


According to the UNCCD definition, “Desertification” is land degradation in arid, semi-arid
and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and
human activities. It has been recognized as a major economic, social, and environmental
problem in many countries of the world. The MEDALUS methodology is a practical approach
to assess the present status of desertification and evaluate the desertification risk. In this study,
a regional model has been developed to desertification assessment and mapping in the SEGZI
plain (Eastern Isfahan) based on the MEDALUS methodology. At first step, seven criteria
including climate, soil, vegetation cover, ground water, water erosion, wind erosion and policy
and management were recognized according to the local condition. Each criterion included
several indicators accounting as factor quality determination. These indicators quantified based
on their influences on desertification process. For each indicator a score ranging from 100 to
200 were assigned and desertification weighting was finally extracted. The weight of each
factor and the weight of desertification status was calculated by geometric mean. Ultimately,
desertification status was classified in four levels including low, moderate, severe and high
severe. At last the maps of these results was produced by geographical information system.
Results showed that 2% of the study area was classified as moderate class, 35% classified as
severe and 63% involved high severe class. Climate, policy and management are the most
important factors have led to desertification process in this region.