WIT Press

A Data Driven Study Of Relationships Between Relief And Farmland Abandonment In A Mediterranean Region


Free (open access)





Page Range

219 - 230




1617 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


B. Zaragozi, J. Rodriguez-Sala, A. Rabasa, A. Ramón & J. Olcina


The environmental, cultural and socio-economic causes and consequences of farmland abandonment are issues of increasing concern for researchers and policy makers. In previous studies, we proposed a new methodology for selecting the driving factors in farmland abandonment processes. Using Data Mining and GIS, it is possible to select those variables which are more significantly related to abandonment. The aim of this study is to investigate the application of the above mentioned methodology for finding relationships between relief and farmland abandonment in a Mediterranean region (SE Spain).We have taken into account up to 28 different variables in a single analysis, some of them commonly considered in land use change studies (slope, altitude, TWI, etc), but also other novel variables have been evaluated (sky view factor, terrain view factor, etc). The variable selection process provides results in line with the previous knowledge of the study area, describing some processes that are region specific (e.g. abandonment versus intensification of the agricultural activities). The European INSPIRE Directive (2007/2/EC) establishes that the digital elevation models for land surfaces should be available in all member countries, this means that the research described in this work can be extrapolated to any European country to determine whether these variables (slope, altitude, etc) are important in the process of abandonment. Keywords: farmland abandonment, data mining, GIS, relief.


Keywords: farmland abandonment, data mining, GIS, relief.