Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mahabad Branch, Islamic Azad University,Mahabad, Iran.
Professor, Department of Watershed Management, Sari university, Iran.
MSc. of Watershed Management, Department of Watershed Management, Haraz University, Iran
In recent decades, rapid and incorrect changes in land use have been associated with
consequences such as natural resources degradation and environmental pollution.
Detecting land use changes is a suitable technique for natural resource management.
The goal of this research is to study the land use change in Haraz Basin with an area of
677000 hectares in 15 years (1996 & 2011) using Landsat data. After making the
necessary corrections and preparing the indices, the image classification into nine
classes was by supervised classification and Maximum Likelihood algorithm. Finally,
the changes were extracted by Post classification comparison. The results showed that
during the 15 years there was a 27.5% change in land use of the area. These changes
are related to conversion of rangelands to bare lands and dry farming ones; and also
converting the dense forest to sparse forest, horticulture, farming lands, and residential
areas. These changes can be due to an increase in population and human activities,
which result in increasing demands for natural sources and converting them into
farming lands, horticulture, residential and industrial areas. These land use changes
along with climate changes are an alarm for the Haraz Basin status in the future.