Mahmoudi, P; Shirazi, SA; Firoozi, F; Jahanshahi, SMA; Mazhar, N (2020). Detection of land cover changes in Baluchistan (shared between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) using the MODIS Land Cover Product. ARABIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, 13(23), 1274.

Land use and land cover (LULC) changes have been one of the most important and persistent factors recently causing changes in the Earth's land. The present study aimed to detect land use and land cover (LULC) changes in Baluchistan, in Southwestern Asia, which is shared by the three countries of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, using satellite remote-sensing products. To this end, the global land cover classification provided for a period of 13 years from 2001 to 2013 by the MODIS Land Cover Type product (MCD12Q1) was used. The changes and dynamics of different land cover classes were investigated using net change analysis and cross-tabulating matrix analysis methods. The net change analysis showed that the most area of Baluchistan is covered by the barren or sparsely vegetated land cover (about 82%) and the shrubland (about 16%) classes. The dynamics analysis of different land cover classes also indicated that there were almost mutually inverse relationships between the different land cover classes in Baluchistan. Such mutual relationships were most common between the following pair classes: shrublands-bare and non-vegetated lands; grasslands-bare and non-vegetated land classes; croplands-bare and non-vegetated lands classes; and shrublands-grasslands. The most unstable land cover classes in this territory were forests, Savannas, and grassland classes. Also, the analysis of land cover changes in the period 2001-2013 provided no clear and accurate evidence of desertification and land degradation at this spatial scale in Baluchistan.