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Changes in Forested Areas of the North-Eastern Region of Azerbaijan Revealed by Satellite Images

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V.M. Mamedaliyeva

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Among the most valuable natural resources of any country are its forest reserves. They need to be preserved. The need for forest protection also exists in Azerbaijan, where there is less forest per inhabitant than in neighboring countries. The use of modern data acquisition and processing methods as well as geographical information system technologies has reduced research in this area to a set of standard procedures. The article describes the stages of processing satellite images available in the public domain, using the case study of the north-eastern region of Azerbaijan, in order to compile forest cover maps over a number of different years. The Landsat images obtained during the summer seasons in different years from 1987 to 2018 are studied. The images covered the territory of 5 neighboring districts in the north-east of Azerbaijan. Preliminary processing of the images included radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction and was carried out using the ENVI software and the FLAASH module. The article also shows the final processing of images using the ArcGIS program in order to determine the areas covered by forests in different years. The analysis was based on the calculation of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The index was calculated for all considered satellite images. Then sections of images with high NDVI values were highlighted, vectorized, and the areas of the resulting polygons were found. Thus, a separate thematic layer is created for each year, showing the area of forest cover that year, i.e. 3 layers in total. The data obtained were summarized in a table, from which a diagram showing the dynamics of the forest area in the region was created. The data also became the basis for a thematic electronic map of forest loss. The continuation of this process has been described.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license • The author declares that there is no conflict of interest


Valida M. Mamedaliyeva, Candidate of Geography; ResearcherID: AAC-5454-2021,


Institute of Ecology of the Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency, ul. S.S. Akhundova, 1, Baku, AZ1115, Republic of Azerbaijan; e-mail:


satellite images, radiometric calibration, atmospheric correction, normalized difference vegetation index, forest cover, forest loss

For citation

Mamedaliyeva V.M. Changes in Forested Areas of the North-Eastern Region of Azerbaijan Revealed by Satellite Images. Lesnoy Zhurnal [Russian Forestry Journal], 2022, no. 1, pp. 88–97. DOI: 10.37482/0536-1036-2022-1-88-97


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