Sandeep, P; Reddy, GPO; Jegankumar, R; Kumar, KCA (2020). Modeling and Assessment of Land Degradation Vulnerability in Semi-arid Ecosystem of Southern India Using Temporal Satellite Data, AHP and GIS. ENVIRONMENTAL MODELING & ASSESSMENT.

Globally, land degradation becomes a serious environmental issue in the context of anthropogenic pressure and climate change in the twenty-first century. Modeling and assessment of land degradation vulnerability assume a greater importance especially in the semi-arid ecosystems for sustainable land resource management. Consistent and reliable earth observation satellite datasets, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and Geographic Information System (GIS) are the powerful tools to model and assess the land degradation vulnerability. The present study was aimed to model and assess the land degradation vulnerability through analysis of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Land Surface Temperature (LST), rainfall, terrain characteristics, and pedological parameters by using AHP and GIS in the semi-arid ecosystem of Rayalaseema region of southern India. The NDVI and LST products derived from time-series Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets, rainfall products from Tropical Precipitation Measuring Mission (TRMM), terrain characteristics from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) (30 m), and pedological parameters derived from legacy soil datasets were used in the study. The AHP- and GIS-based modeling shows that about 25.3 and 9.9% of the study area were under high and very high vulnerability to land degradation, respectively. Inadequate rainfall and vegetative cover, high temperature, problematic soils, and lack of adequate conservation measures were found to be the main causative environmental factors for land degradation in the study area. The study clearly demonstrates the potential of AHP- and GIS-based modeling in the assessment of land degradation vulnerability by using the time-series MODIS NDVI- and TRMM-based rainfall products, terrain characteristics, and pedological parameters.