Integrated approach for land use suitability analysis
M. Abbaspour 1,   A.S. Mahiny 2,   R. Arjmandy 1,   B. Naimi 1
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Department of Environment and Energy, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hesarak, Pounak, Tehran, Iran
College of the Environment, Gorgan University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences, Beheshti, Golestan, Iran
Int. Agrophys. 2011, 25(4): 311–318
An integrated fuzzy spatial multi-criteria evaluation and analytic hierarchy process within a GIS was applied to assess the land use suitability for agriculture in Golestan province, Iran. In this way, a type of multi-criteria evaluation method called weighted linear combination in a spatial domain was employed to incorporate six factors and three constraining criteria into the evaluation of land use suitability for agriculture. A fuzzy set methodology was used to calculate values of a membership function of each factor. The relative importance weights of factors were estimated using analytic hierarchy proces. The application of the presented approach in Golestan province indicated that the soil capability, slope, and precipitation were the most important factors to assess the land use suitability for agriculture. The result showed that 51.6% of the areas are highly suitable for agricultural purposes and 23.3% of the areas are unsuitable or restricted to cultivation. The results suggest that the integration of fuzzy spatial multi- criteria evaluation and analytic hierarchy process technologies has several advantages over the conventional land use planning procedure in Iran and provides the empirical and repeatable process, and the possibility of using expert advices in criteria weighting.