Monitoring Spatial and Temporal Changes of Agricultural Lands in the Nile Delta and their Implications on Soil Characteristics Using Remote Sensing
AuthorHereher, Mohamed El-Desoky
AdvisorGlenn, Edward P.
Committee ChairGlenn, Edward P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractEgypt witnesses an increasing population growth concomitant with limited water and agricultural land resources. The objectives of this study were to utilize remotely sensed data for the inventory of agricultural lands in the Nile Delta, monitoring spatial and temporal variations in agricultural lands and quantifying agricultural land losses due to urbanization. Inventory of agricultural lands was designed using two approaches: thresholding and linear mixture analysis. We utilized 12 images from the Landsat satellite: 4 from Multi-Spectral Scanner (1972), 4 from Thematic Mapper (1984) and 4 from Thematic Mapper (2003) covering the entire Nile Delta. In addition, a set of 480 NDVI images were obtained from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor that cover the period 1984-2003. Landsat images were subjected to atmospheric, radiometric and geometric corrections as well as image mosaicking. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was applied and thresholding for agricultural land cover revealed that the areal extent of agricultural lands was 3.68, 4.32 and 4.95 million acres (one acre = 0.96 Egyptian Feddan) in 1972, 1984 and 2003, respectively. Linear mixture analysis of the AVHRR-NDVI with the TM-NDVI images showed that agricultural lands approached 4.11 and 5.24 million acres in 1984 and 2003, respectively. Using multitemporal Principal Component Analysis (PCA) for the TM and AVHRR images proved that reclamation activities were mostly along the western margins of the Nile Delta. Spatio-temporal analysis showed that middle delta has the highest agricultural vigor compared with the margins. Agricultural land loss was estimated in some cities within the delta as well as in Greater Cairo area. We studied the land cover classification and change in Greater Cairo area based on 5 Landsat images acquired in 1972, 1984, 1990, 1998 and 2003. Agricultural lands lost 28.43% (32,236 acres) between 1972 and 2003 with an annual loss of 1040 acres. Agricultural lands on the peripheries of Cairo and its satellite towns were the most vulnerable areas. Soil salinization was another limiting factor for land reclamation. The main conclusion confirms that remote sensing is an accurate, efficient and less expensive tool for the inventory and monitoring agricultural land change in Egypt.
Degree ProgramSoil, Water & Environmental Science