The Effect of the Land Use/Cover Changes on the Floods of the Madarsu Basin of Northeastern Iran
Ali Panahi, Bohloul Alijani, Hosein Mohammadi
DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.24043   PDF   HTML     7,290 Downloads   14,349 Views   Citations


In order to understand the effect of the land use/cover change on the hydrologic regime of the Madarsu Basin in Golestan province of Iran, we selected the two floods of June 1964 and June 2003 with equal amount of rainfall but different rate of runoff. For these floods the closest time images of MODIS were selected. On these images we analyzed the land use/cover types and calculated their area and change rate between two floods. We also calculated the Curve Number (CN) for each land use/cover type according to the US Soil Conservation System (SCS) model. The results showed that: the intensity of the peak floods has increased from 1960 to 2002, and the natural lands of forests, rangelands, and bare lands have been decreased from 1960 to 2002. While the agricultural lands showed increase during the same period. The CN value has also increased during the study period causing the decrease of moisture retention capacity of the soil. As a result, despite the equal rainfall, the discharge rate of 2003 flood was about 10 times larger than that of the 1964 flood, which is the direct effect of the land use/cover change from the stable forests and rangelands to the unstable agricultural lands on the both soil moisture retention capacity and run off rate.

Share and Cite:

A. Panahi, B. Alijani and H. Mohammadi, "The Effect of the Land Use/Cover Changes on the Floods of the Madarsu Basin of Northeastern Iran," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2010, pp. 373-379. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.24043.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Pagheh, “Studying the Fallowing Effect in the Flood of Lankaran Basin, Garmabdsht Watershed Management,” MSc’s Thesis, University of Gorgan, Gorgan, 2003.
[2] H. M. Sadeghi, “Studying the Causes of the Floods and their Control in Damavand Watershed,” Journal of Forest and Pasture, Vol. 26, 1995, pp. 25-31.
[3] M. J. Pouraghnyaii, “The Effect of Vegetation Changes in the Flood Regime of Neka River Watershed Basin,” Master’s Thesis, University of Tehran, Tehran, 2001.
[4] S. Zahedi and A. Ghodrati, “The Effect of Rainfall and Forest Use on the Flooding Regime of Shfarud Basin, Gilan Province,” The 3rd regional and 1st National Con-ference on Climate Change, Isfahan University, Isfahan, 21-23 October 2003.
[5] J. K. Lorup, J. C. Refsgaard and D. Mazimavi, “Assess-ing the Effect of Land Use Change on Catchment Runoff by Combined Use of Statistical Test and Hydrological Modeling. Case Studies from-Zimbabwe,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 205, 1998, pp. 147-163.
[6] A. Loukas, L. Vasiliades and N. R. Dalezios, “Flood Producing Mechanisms Identification in Southern British Clombia, Canada,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 277, 2000, pp. 218-235.
[7] E. Tabacchi, L. Lambs, H. Guilloy, A. M. Planty-Tabacchi, E. Muller and H. Decamps, “Impact of Riparian Vegetation on Hydrological Processes,” Hydro-logical Processes, Vol. 14, No. 16-17, 2000, pp. 2959-2976.
[8] M. Khosroshahi, “Determining the Role Sub-Basins in the Flood Intensity of Damavand Watershed,” Master’s Thesis, University of Tarbiat Modarres, Tehran, Iran, 2001.
[9] R. Suwanwerakamtorn, “GIS and Hydrologic Modeling for Management of Small Watersheds,” ITC Journal, Vol. 4, 1994, pp. 343-349.
[10] W. K. B. Elkaduwa and R. Sakthivadivel, “Use of His-torical Data as a Decision Support Tool in Watershed Management: A Case Study of the Upper Nilwala Basin in Sri Lanka,” International Water Management Institute, Colombo, 1999.
[11] A. Wakeel, K. S. Rao K. Maikhurir and K. G. Saxena, “Forest Management and Land Use/Cover Changes in a Typical Micro Watershed in the Mid Elevation Zone of Central Himalaya, India,” Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 213, No. 1-3, July 2005, pp. 229-242.
[12] P.-J. Shi, Y. Yuan, J. Zheng, J.-A. Wang, Y. Ge and G.-Y. Qiu, “The Effect of Land Use/Cover Change on Surface Runoff in Shenzhen Region, China,” CETANA, Vol. 69, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 31-35.
[13] Z. Desezo, J. Bartholy, R. Pongracz and Z. Barcza, “Analysis of Land-use/Land-cover Change in the Carpa-thian Region Based on Remote Sensing Techniques,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Vol. 30, No. 1-3, 2005, pp. 109-115.
[14] A. D. Roo, M. O. G. Schmuck, E. Koster, and A. Lucieer, “Assessing the ffects of Land Use Changes on Floods in the Meuse and Oder Catchment,” Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydroligy, Oceans and Atmosphere, Vol. 26, No. 7-8, 2001, pp. 593-599.
[15] M. N. Shrestha, “Integrated ANN Modeling for Assess-ment of Runoff Due to Land-use Change Using Remote Sensing and GIS,” 2000.
[16] X. Zhan, R. A. Sohlberg, J. R. G. C. Townshend, M. L. Dimiceli, J. C. Carroll, Eastman, M. C. Hansen and R. S. Defries, “Detection of Land Cover Changes Using MODIS 250 m Data,” Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 83, 2002, pp. 336-350.
[17] C. J. van der Sande, S. M. de Jong and A. P. J. de Roo, “A Segmentation and Classification Approach of IKONOS-2 Imagery for Land Cover Mapping to Assist Flood Risk and Flood Damage Assessment,” International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 4, No. 3, June 2003, pp. 217-229.
[18] M. H. Noorazuan, R. Ruslan, J. Hafizan, M. Sharifuddin, and J. Nazari, “GIS Application In Evaluating Land UseLand Cover Change and its Impact on Hydrological Regime in Langat River Basin, Malaysia,” Map Asia Conference, Malaysia, 14-15 October 2003.
[19] J. A. Richard and X. Jia, “Remote Sensing and Digital Image Analysis: An Introduction,” Springer-Verlag, Ber-lin, German, 1993.
[20] Japan International Cooperation Agency, “The Study on Flood and Debris Flow in the Caspian Coastal Area Fo-cusing on the Flood-Hit Region in Golestan Province in Iran,” Final Report, Vol. 4, October 2006.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.