CSRD organises a lecture by Irene Marzolff

Event From Date: 
Monday, 19 March 2018
Event End Date: 
Monday, 19 March 2018
Event Title: 
CSRD organises a lecture by Irene Marzolff
Event Details: 


Centre for the Study of Regional Development

School of Social Sciences


Invites you all to a lecture on


Erosion processes in degraded argan-tree populations in South-west Morocco – Outlook on a multi-methods research project 2018-2021


Irene Marzolff

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Date: 19 March 2018

Time: 3.00 PM

Venue: Cartographic Lab, CSRD, SSS III (Ist Floor) 


Abstract : In semi-arid to arid South-west Morocco, the endemic argan tree (Arganiaspinosa) forms open woodlands that are the basis of a traditional agroforestry system involving rain-fed agriculture, pasturing of goats, sheep and camels, and oil production. For at least a century, the argan forests have declined due to due to charcoal-making, overgrazing and agricultural expansion. Soil and vegetation are increasingly being degraded; canopy cover decreases, and soil erosion rates rise due to reduced infiltration and increased runoff.

The research project ARGAN, a cooperation of Frankfurt, Trier and Agadir University, will analyse degradation processes at various argan-forest sites with different degrees of usage and degradation by employing a multi-methods concept including geomorphological and socio-economic fieldwork and remote sensing and GIS analysis. The aim is to identify threshold values for soil and vegetation degradation and for usage intensity leading to the dynamisation of erosion processes. The understanding of these relations are an important prerequisite for a sustainable use of the argan-tree populations.


Dr. Irene Marzolff is Senior Lecturer and head of the Remote Sensing and GIS department at the Institute of Physical Geography, Frankfurt University. She has 20 years of experience in analysis of aerial photography and satellite imagery for mapping and monitoring land-degradation processes, in particular the development of gullies and badlands. During several research projects, she has been investigating soil erosion as well as agricultural land reclamation in badland regions in Spain, Morocco and India. The methodological approaches of her research have strongly relied on high-resolution topographic data, particularly UAV-derived DEMs, for quantitative and qualitative analysis of erosional relief forms.