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Utrecht University (2020)

Desertification assessment of the Jordan Badia using remote sensing technology

Sarcinella, M.

Titre : Desertification assessment of the Jordan Badia using remote sensing technology

Auteur : Sarcinella, M.

Université de soutenance : Utrecht University

Grade : MSc Earth Surface and Water 2020

Résumé _ Inhabitants of drylands often live in below-average conditions of well-being and development. Due to its semi-arid to arid climate, the Jordan Badia is marred by plagues as water scarcity and increasing temperatures which are enhanced by overgrazing and a rapidly growing population. With the impending challenge of freshwater scarcity and the alarming drought records reached in recent years, the uncertainty about the Badia’s future grows aggressively as well as the need for assessing the entity and severity of land degradation processes in the area. The research aims at addressing this need with the aid of remote sensing techniques. Use is made of the satellite-derived land degradation indicators suggested by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to quantify the portion of degraded land. Moreover, soil and vegetation response to rainfall events are further investigated in this scope. Satellite-derived precipitation, soil moisture and NDVI are analysed in order to unravel soil resilience and its change over time. The assessment performed by the UNCCD shows that 1.3% of the land of Jordan is degraded. Areas in the north-west of the country prove to be the most affected. The pattern of degradation, as defined in this scope, shows to be mainly driven by land cover changes. The long-term analysis of soil moisture and NDVI trends in the Badia shows that soil resilience in drier areas has been partially affected. The implementation of an ecosystem rehabilitation project at Al Majidiyya ICARDA experimental site has proven to be beneficial for the quality of soils. An increased infiltration rate and higher vegetation productivity is observed where rainwater harvesting structures have been implemented.

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Page publiée le 9 avril 2021