Analysis of hydrogeomorphic characteristics of sub-basins in terms of erosion sensitivity (Case study: Aland Chai basin, northwest of Iran)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Geomorphology, Faculty of Planning and Environmental Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of RS and GIS, Faculty of Planning and Environmental Sciences, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


Introduction: Aland Chai basin which is located in Khoy County and North West of Iran is one of the high erodibility susceptibility basins due to its unique topographic location and receiving appropriate rainfall throughout the year, especially in spring. The primary purpose of the present study is to investigate and analyze the role of hydrogeomorphic indicators in the sensitivity to erodibility of the sub-basins of the Aland Chai basin located in Khoy County.
Study Area: Aland Chai basin with an area of 1147.30 km2 is located in the Northwest of Iran and the Western Azerbaijan province. This basin is located between 38°- 30¢-14² and 38°- 48¢-22² N and between 44°- 15¢- 13² and 45°- 01¢-02² E. Basin elevation variations are from 1093m in the Aland Chai River bed to 3638m above sea level in the Avrin Mountain. This basin is one of the sub-basins of the Aras River basin.
Materials and methods: In the current study, a geomorphometric ranking method was used considering two groups of hydrogeomorphic parameters to rank the parameters. The first groups are the parameters that have a direct relationship with the erodibility of the sub-basins. These parameters include Drainage density, Stream frequency, Bifurcation ratio, Drainage texture, Infiltration number, Relief, and Gradient. The second group includes 4 parameters of Compactness coefficient, Elongation ratio, Circulatory ratio, and Form factor, which have an inverse relationship with erodibility sensitivity.
Results and Discussion: In this study, 12 hydrogeomorphic parameters were analyzed from three aspects of drainage network characteristics, shape parameters, and relief characteristics of the basin in order to investigate the role of these parameters in the sensitivity of the Aland Chai basin to erosion. In the next step, the information of each sub-basin based on 12 hydrogeomorphic parameters were prepared using the geomorphological laws of Horton, Schumm, and Strahler in ArcGIS software. In the following, the final map prioritizing the sub-basins in terms of sensitivity to erosion in 5 classes of very high (<43), high (39-42), medium (33-38), low (30-33) and very low (>30) sensitivity was prepared.
Conclusion: The results of erosion susceptibility of sub-basins using hydrogeomorphic parameters also showed that 5 sub-basins (sub-basins 1, 2, 3, 4, and 11) have high susceptibility. The results of this part of the study showed that the area of ​​the Rangeland had a decreasing trend between 1985 and 2020. In contrast, with the physical development of Khoy and Firouraq cities, we are witnessing an increasing trend in the area of ​​built-up areas. Agricultural and garden classes have also increased in 2000, 2010, and 2020 compared to 1985, but the largest increase in agricultural land and garden area is related to 2000. The study of the relationship between land use changes in each sub-basin and their erodibility showed that in the sub-basins upstream of Aland Chai basin, land use change (an increase of agricultural lands) or inappropriate and excessive use of area capacity, it is effective in intensifying erodibility of sub-basins.


Main Subjects

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