Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Herat Related Abstracts

2 Estimation of Soil Erosion Potential in Herat Province, Afghanistan

Authors: M. E. Razipoor, T. Masunaga, K. Sato, M. S. Saboory

Abstract:

Estimation of soil erosion is economically and environmentally important in Herat, Afghanistan. Degradation of soil has negative impact (decreased soil fertility, destroyed soil structure, and consequently soil sealing and crusting) on life of Herat residents. Water and wind are the main erosive factors causing soil erosion in Herat. Furthermore, scarce vegetation cover, exacerbated by socioeconomic constraint, and steep slopes accelerate soil erosion. To sustain soil productivity and reduce soil erosion impact on human life, due to sustaining agricultural production and auditing the environment, it is needed to quantify the magnitude and extent of soil erosion in a spatial domain. Thus, this study aims to estimate soil loss potential and its spatial distribution in Herat, Afghanistan by applying RUSLE in GIS environment. The rainfall erosivity factor ranged between values of 125 and 612 (MJ mm ha-1 h-1 year-1). Soil erodibility factor varied from 0.036 to 0.073 (Mg h MJ-1 mm-1). Slope length and steepness factor (LS) values were between 0.03 and 31.4. The vegetation cover factor (C), derived from NDVI analysis of Landsat-8 OLI scenes, resulting in range of 0.03 to 1. Support practice factor (P) were assigned to a value of 1, since there is not significant mitigation practices in the study area. Soil erosion potential map was the product of these factors. Mean soil erosion rate of Herat Province was 29 Mg ha-1 year-1 that ranged from 0.024 Mg ha-1 year-1 in flat areas with dense vegetation cover to 778 Mg ha-1 year-1 in sharp slopes with high rainfall but least vegetation cover. Based on land cover map of Afghanistan, areas with soil loss rate higher than soil loss tolerance (8 Mg ha-1 year-1) occupies 98% of Forests, 81% rangelands, 64% barren lands, 60% rainfed lands, 28% urban area and 18% irrigated Lands.

Keywords: GIS, erosion, RUSLE, Afghanistan, Herat

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1 Historical Development of Bagh-e Dasht in Herat, Afghanistan: A Comprehensive Field Survey of Physical and Social Aspects

Authors: Khojesta Kawish, Tetsuya Ando, Sayed Abdul Basir Samimi

Abstract:

Bagh-e Dasht area is situated in the northern part of Herat, an old city in western Afghanistan located on the Silk Road which has received a strong influence from Persian culture. Initially, the Bagh-e Dasht area was developed for gardens and palaces near Joy-e Injil canal during the Timurid Empire in the 15th century. It is assumed Bagh-e Dasht became a settlement in the 16th century during the Safavid Empire. The oldest area is the southern part around the canal bank which is characterized by Dalans, sun-dried brick arcades above which houses are often constructed. Traditional houses in this area are built with domical vault roofs constructed with sun-dried bricks. Bagh-e Dasht is one of the best-preserved settlements of traditional houses in Herat. This study examines the transformation of the Bagh-e Dasht area with a focus on Dalans, where traditional houses with domical vault roofs have been well-preserved until today. The aim of the study is to examine the extent of physical changes to the area as well as changes to houses and the community. This research paper contains original results which have previously not been published in architectural history. The roof types of houses in the area are investigated through examining high resolution satellite images. The boundary of each building and space is determined by both a field survey and aerial photographs of the study area. A comprehensive field survey was then conducted to examine each space and building in the area. In addition, a questionnaire was distributed to the residents of the Dalan houses and interviews were conducted with the Wakil (Chief) of the area, a local historian, residents and traditional builders. The study finds that the oldest part of Bagh-e Dasht area, the south, contains both Dalans and domical vault roof houses. The next oldest part, which is the north, only has domical vault roof houses. The rest of the area only has houses with modernized flat roofs. This observation provides an insight into the process of historical development in the Bagh-e Dasht area.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Herat, Bagh-e Dasht, Dalan, domical vault, over path house, traditional house

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