Monitoring and Predicting Land Use Changes in Kurdistan Province by GIS and CA-Markov Model

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Agricultural management and development, department, Faculty of Economics & Agricultural Development, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran

2 Agricultural management and development department, faculty of economics and agricultural development. college of agriculture and natural resources. university of Tehran

3 Professor, Departmen of Agricultural Management of Development, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


Land use changes are one of nature's most dynamic components, evolving dramatically at various sizes since the Industrial Revolution. Ongoing monitoring and quantification of such changes allow us to have a better knowledge of the ecosystem's function and health. The present study aims to apply the Markov hybrid Cellular Automata (CA) model to model land use changes in Kurdistan province. Land use maps were provided using Landsat data and the maximum probability classification approach in six groups for the years 1980, 1990, and 2000. It was then analyzed using the simulation map of 2000 and the real map of the model, and finally, the user map for the years 2030 and 2040 was forecasted using six user classifications. The utilization of agricultural lands, barren lands with little vegetation, urban and built-up regions, and irrigated beds rose by 19.05, 12.36, 0.30, and 0.27 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2011. Forest and rangeland land use, on the other hand, have declined by 14.75 percent and 17.22 percent, respectively. The kappa coefficient of the model in all coefficients was greater than 0.8, indicating that the model is very efficient. The assessment of future changes in land use compared to 1980 found that forest and rangeland land uses dropped by 17.47 and 28.34 percent between 1980 and 2030, and by 21.98 and 29.78 percent between 1980 and 2040, respectively. Agricultural lands, barren lands with vegetation, residential and built-up regions, and water beds have grown 32.54%, 12.55%, 0.46%, and 0.26%, respectively, from 1980 to 2030, while these uses have increased 36.96%, 12.88%, 1.58%, and 0.33%, respectively, from 1980 to 2040. The findings of this study demonstrate the present and future trends in land use change, which is extremely necessary and beneficial to natural science researchers, environmentalists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), politicians, and urban planners.


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