Identification of Soil Erosion-Based Degraded Land Areas by Employing a Geographic Information System—A Case Study of Pakistan for 1990–2020

Qurrat Ulain, Syeda Maria Ali, Ashfaq Ahmad Shah, Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Wahid Ullah, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Land is one of the most vital nonrenewable resources that guarantee the survival and development of humans on planet Earth. In the 21st century, rapid population growth accompanied by expeditious industrialization and urbanization has led to land degradation and irreparable damage. In Pakistan, land degradation has affected the livelihood of 3.58% of the total population. This study aimed to identify the soil erosion-based land that is degraded in Pakistan through an analytical hierarchal process (AHP). For this purpose, climatic parameters such as vis-a-vis precipitation, temperature, land use/land cover, soil parameters (i.e., soil pH, soil texture, soil bulk density, and soil moisture content), and topographic parameters (i.e., slope, elevation, aspect, and drainage density) were taken into the consideration. Weights and scores were assigned in integration with a weighted overlay analysis (WOA) to the prioritized parameters. The findings revealed that Zone A comprising high mountains is severely affected by land degradation, followed by Zone D and E (Sindh and Balochistan). Key factors operating in Zone D and E are hyper-arid climatic conditions along with inefficient land management practices. The overall results validated the hypothesis that soil erosion strongly correlates with an increase in the magnitude and severity of land degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11888
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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