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Volume :43 Issue : 165 2017      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Causes and Indicators of Land Degradation in the Terrestrial Environment of Kuwait .

Auther : Prof. R'afat F. Misak - Dr. Fatma M. AL-Ghazali

     The main objectives of the current study are to evaluate and classify the causes, indicators and causes of land degradation in the terrestrial environment of Kuwait. The study was based on field survey for 21 sites representing the open desert areas of the terrestrial environment .These sites cover 525 km2. Land degradation maps were prepared for selected five sites using IKONOS images, GIS and ground truth. It was observed that causes and in turn indicators of land degradation vary from one land use to another. In the open desert area (rangeland grazing) which constitutes 51% of Kuwait, the main causes of land degradation are overgrazing, removing grasses and shrubs, spring camping and military exercises. The indicators of land degradation in this type of land use include degradation of vegetation cover, loss of biodiversity, loss of  top soil (by both wind and runoff). In case of agricultural areas which constitute 2.7% of Kuwait, over-exploitation of irrigation water is the main cause of land degradation. Soil Stalinization and water logging and in turn loss of agricultural production are the main indicators of land degradation in this type of land use. One of the outstanding results of this study is that all forms of land degradation, regardless of the nature and magnitude, are prevailing in the 21 sites. In 16 sites representing 76% of total area of studied area are more vulnerable to wind erosion as they are located inside or in the peripheries of natural wind corridors. Three cases of land degradation are identified in the terrestrial environment of Kuwait. These are very severe (28% of the total area of studied sites), severe (52% of the total area of studied sites) and moderate (19 % of the total area of studied sites).
     As mentioned in literature, climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of drought and in turn dust storms and sand movement. Globally, the proportion of Earth's surface in extreme drought is projected to rise from about 1percent today to around 30 percent by late this century (if heat emissions continue to rise at high rates). Modeling of climatic components, vegetation cover and land use indicates a remarkable decrease in vegetation cover and in turn increase of land degradation.

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May 18, 2017

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