A Study of the Processes of Desertification at the Modern Delta of the Ili River with the Application of Remote Sensing Data
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Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University, 050010, Almaty, Kazakhstan
U.U. Uspanov Kazakh Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, 050060, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Kazakh National Women’s Teacher Training University, 050000, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Shakhislam Uzakbaevich Laiskhanov   

Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University, 050010, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Publication date: 2021-03-01
J. Ecol. Eng. 2021; 22(3):169–178
The water regime is the main factor contributing to the formation of landscapes in the river deltas of arid zones, any fluctuations in which lead to a change in the integral hydromorphic landscape. After the construction of the Kapshagai reservoir, the anthropogenic load on the ecosystem of the Ili River delta increased, as a result of which degradation processes, such as drying out and salinization, intensified. In the short term, this phenomenon may lead to the desertification of about 1 million ha of land in the modern river delta. In this regard, the main goal of this study is to look at the processes of desertification in the modern delta of the Ili River, using remote sensing data, which allows for quick identification of the long-term dynamics of degradation processes. For this, the authors used satellite data from Landsat 1-5 MSSS and Landsat 8OLI satellites for 1979 and 2019 and soil analysis data obtained through the ground (field) surveys. Using regression analysis of space and soil data, predictors for interpreting space images were identified and maps of landscape drying and soil salinization were compiled, reflecting the changes that have occurred over the past 40 years. As a result, it was found that in 2019, compared to 1979, the area of landscapes covered with vegetation had decreased by 12% and there was a transformation of hydromorphic landscapes into salt marshes and solonetzes. Over the past 40 years, the volume of non-saline soils has decreased by 41.3% and the volume of saline soils has increased to varying degrees. That is, at present, on the territory of the modern delta, a difficult land improvement situation has developed associated with the cessation of spring and summer floods due to the intensive water use at the Chinese and Kazakh sides.