The effect of drought in the source area of dust storms on vegetation change (case study: western parts of Iran)

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Malayer University, Iran

Abstract

Water scarcity is one of the factors limiting plant growth and development. More than one
third of the global terrestrial ecosystems is located in arid and semi-arid regions. The most
important limiting factor for plant growth is water shortage. Drought could significantly
change the natural vegetation cover. Rainfall reduction in Iraq, Turkey and Syria has
reduced vegetation cover so that dust storms have increased. Therefore, these areas have a
high potential to increase dust particles in the environment. To investigate the temporal
changes of vegetation, we focused on the source of dust particles between Tigris and
Euphrates rivers and some parts of the west bank of these rivers in Iraq. The Normalized
Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used. In addition, the standard precipitation index
was calculated to assess drought events in the region. The results show that the vegetation
and rainfall indexes are inversely correlated in the study area.

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Main Subjects