Land suitability analysis for rice cultivation using a GIS-based fuzzy multi-criteria decision making approach: central part of Amol District, Iran

https://doi.org/10.17221/1/2016-SWRCitation:Maddahi Z., Jalalian A., Kheirkhah Zarkesh M.M., Honarjo N. (2017): Land suitability analysis for rice cultivation using a GIS-based fuzzy multi-criteria decision making approach: central part of Amol District, Iran. Soil & Water Res., 12: 29-38.
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Land suitability analysis and preparing land use maps is one of the most beneficial applications of the Geographic Information System (GIS) in planning and managing land recourses. The main objective of this study was to develop a fuzzy multi-criteria decision making technique integrated with the GIS to assess suitable areas for rice cultivation in Amol District, Iran. Several suitability factors including soil properties, climatic conditions, topography, and accessibility were selected based on the FAO framework and experts’ opinions. A fuzzy analytical hierarchical process (FAHP) was used to determine the weights of the various criteria. The GIS was used to overlay and generate criteria maps and a land suitability map. The study area has been classified into four categories of rice cultivation suitability (highly suitable, suitable, moderately suitable, and unsuitable). The present study has attempted to introduce and use the FAHP method to land suitability analysis and to select lands in order to be used as best as possible. Areas that are classified as highly suitable and suitable for rice cultivation constitute about 59.8% of the total area of the region. The results of the present research indicate that the FAHP is an efficient strategy to increase the accuracy of the weight of the criteria affecting the analysis of land suitability.
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