Desertification risk assessment maps Print

Source: extracted from Karavitis, C., Kosmas, C. et al. (submitted article) An expert system towards assessing desertification risk using indicators. Environmental Management


The main processes or causes in the Mação study site are:
  • forest fires and
  • water erosion in agricultural areas.


For these processes, the Desertification Risk Assessment Tool needed data to calculate 431 indicators in 31 map units. Using data from the WOCAT QM database, the required indicators were estimated and imported to the Assessment Tool.


The procedure was applied to all the map units in the study site and the DRI values calculated are shown in Table 1.


Table 1: Desertification risk calculation per map unit


The DRI values were mapped for each of the 31 polygons (Map 1)


Map 1: Desertification risk index (DRI) 

Map 2: Degree of land degradation (as assessed using the WOCAT mapping method)


The DRI map was compared with the WOCAT QM of the same area (Map 2). It can be seen that the rate of degradation and the land conservation measures seen in the WOCAT map correspond closely to the DRI values, with the highest values of DRI coinciding with agronomic (vegetation soil cover) measures and the erosion due to water loss of the top soil.


More details ... about the use of the Desertification Risk Assessment Tool to calculate the Desertification Risk Index (DRI)
»Using the Desertification Risk Assessment Tool