The impact of drought periods and wind erosion on the physical development of desert cities (Case Study: Zabol- Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


Faculty of Humanities, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


The physical development of cities is always faced with natural barriers. The physical development of the city of Zabol, located in the Sistan plain, is threatened specifically with the development of sand dunes. For this reason, the region’s drought conditions were investigated and the standardized precipitation index was calculated. The results showed that with the drying of Hamoon Lake, the frequency of dust storms has increased. Zabol weather station’s anemometer data was collected, then annual and seasonal sand speed as well as the region’s prevailing weather pattern, which was drawn using  Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), Wind Rose Plots (WRPLOT) and Sand Speed Graph software. The results showed that the dominant wind direction is from the North West, followed by the North winds. In addition, it was found that frequent strong winds are more important during the spring and summer. The results of drawing sand speed showed that the final direction for carrying sand is to the Southeast and the that wind's features have provided the conditions for the formation and development of active dunes. It should be noted that the development of Zabol is toward the North and Northwest. In addition, the prevailing wind direction of the region and the active sand dunes are to the North and the Northwest of Zabol. Thus, it is evident that one of the major barriers of the physical development of Zabol is the movement of sand dunes, as the development of Zabol is in the same direction of regional winds.