The Assessment of Erosion Processes and the Potential for Desertification: A Case Study of Antalya Province, Turkey

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The “Turkey Action Plan on Combating Desertification” was published by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2005. Soil erosion is the primary factor which turns potentially useful land to desert. The classification of land according to is soil characteristics, as well as its potential for erosion, can provide planners and political authorities with a means to productively use the land and its of resources. Learning about the dimension of the erosion is only possible by determining the land use ability. With this land ability classification, the slope rate of the land and soil depth distribution also becomes necessary, as these are critical to assessing erosion.

The focus of the present study is an assessment of erosion of agricultural land, pasture land, and forest land in Antalya Province. The sum rate of erosion for every town in the Antalya region would present the total erosion situation. For this study, first of all, the distribution of the land according to ability classes, slope and soil depth, etc., will be determined. Next, identification of land used for agriculture, pasture and forest and their distribution by town, will be determined. By using a ranking method, the sensitivity of towns to erosion is established by specialists. After ranking the towns, short, medium and long-term strategies will be developed for combating erosion.

For the present study, twenty-six specialists helped to develop nine main criteria for judging erosion. The method of analysis was determined by ranking and the linear equations methods which are used in analytic hierarchy process in order to classify land by significance levels. According to these data, a multiple criteria decision making process approach was estabilished in order to develop an erosion working plan.

The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is a commonly used solution technique for solving any multicriteria decision-making problem. This method is one of the most flexible and easily implemented multicriteria decision making techniques. It is a theory of measurement concerned with dominance priorities from pairwise comparison of elements with respect to a common criterion. The AHP allows the consideration of both objective and subjective factors in selecting the best alternative. Despite the widespread use of the AHP in diverse decision problems, this multiattribute approach has not been without criticism. In spite of these criticsms, it is one of the most popular multicriteria decision making methodologies available today. Thus, the areas in wich the AHP is applied are diverse and numerous. The popularity of the AHP is due to its simplicity, flexibilty, ease of use and interpretation etc., in analysing complex decision problems.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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