MONITORING DESERTIFICATION IN SOME REGIONS OF IRAQ USING GIS TECHNIQUES
Desertification is one of the phenomena that threatening the environmental, economic, and social systems. This study aims to evaluate and monitor desertification in the central parts of Iraq between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers through the use of remote sensing techniques and geographic information systems. The Normalized difference vegetation index NDVI and the crust index CI were used, which were applied to two of the Landsat ETM + and OLI satellite imagery during the years 1990 and 2019. The research results showed that the total area of the vegetation cover was 2620 km2 in 1990, while there was a marked decrease in the area Vegetation cover 764 km2 in 2019, accounting for 34.8% (medium desertification) and 10.2% (high desertification), respectively. Also, the results showed that sand dunes occupied an area of 767 km2 in 1990, while the area of sand dunes increased to 1723 km2 in 2019, with a rate of 10.2%) medium desertification (and 22.9% (severe desertification), respectively. It was noted that the overall rate of decrease in vegetation cover was 21.33 km2year-1 while the overall rate of increase in ground erosion in the area is 10.99 km2year-1.