Effects of land use change on agricultural water quality in Kerman Plain using remote sensing technique

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of reclamation of arid and mountain regions, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Natural engineering , Faculity of Natural Resources, University of Jiroft, Jiroft, Iran


Land use has always been one of the most important indications of the adverse impact of mankind on their environment. It is an activity that human beings, through using natural resources, contribute to their socio-economic development and at the same time, alter the processes and structures within the environment. One of the most important sources that have been damaged during the past decades through land use change is water resources, especially groundwater. Considering the importance of groundwater resources in supplying drinking water and agriculture, qualitative monitoring and spatial and temporal distribution of the process of its changes are important issues in planning and managing water resources. Therefore, the present research investigates the effects of changing the use of groundwater quality in Kerman Plain.
Material and methods:
Land maps of Landsat 5, 7 and 8 were used for land use mapping in Kerman Plain. These are TM (1987), ETM + (2002) and OLI (2017) sensors, respectively. Also, in order to investigate the process of qualitative changes of groundwater resources in Kerman Plain, statistical data and information of 2002 and 2017 were used. Then, the maps of quality parameters were mapped to the ArcGIS 9.3 environment. Afterward, these maps were zoned to agricultural classes using Wilcox classification and the critical and contaminated areas were identified. . Spatial zonation maps of groundwater parameters for agricultural purposes were plotted based on Wilcox method. Finally, by coating the SAR and EC layers with ArcGIS9.3 software, the water quality status of the region for agricultural use according to Wilcox classification in 1996 and 2014 the area of each group was calculated.
Results and discussion:
Using satellite images of the studied area, it was divided into three user units. These units included residential areas, agricultural lands, and rangelands. The quality of agricultural water was obtained from a diagram called the Wilcox Diagram. Land use change showed that a decrease has occurred in the pasture user's class. In the course of 30 years, while 1.691 km2 of rangelands have been decreased, the area of agricultural land and residential areas has been increased. The increase was far more in residential areas than agricultural lands.
 According to the Wilcox classification, the EC and SAR parameters were increased during this period, but the trend of increase in the EC parameter was higher. For the EC parameter, almost the majority of the region had a high level of this element, which is more intense in the western parts of the region than in other regions and has been increasing over time. For the SAR element, studies have shown that the amount of this element was in the good class in all areas of the region in 2002, except for the western parts of the study area which were in the middle class in 2014.


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