Friday, 14 July 2006

Assessment of Soil and Water Resources in the South Nile Valley, Egypt, Using Multi Sensors and Multi-Date Space Imageries.

Abd-Alaa Gad Abda-Alla Gad, National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), 23, Josef Brows Tito,, El-Nozha El-Gededa, Cairo,, P.Box 1564-A, Egypt and Rafa Ramadan Ali, Soils and Water Use Department,National Research Centre,Cairo,Egypt., Tahrir St.,Dokki, Giza, Egypt.

The main problem facing Egypt is the over population growth in the limited portion of its territory. The mega national project of Tushka is thought necessary to create new Delta in the south-western desert of Egypt. The project aims to establish another civilization parallel to that of the Nile Valley. It includes digging new canal with the purpose of transferring Nile waters to feed hundreds of thousands of feddans in the west of the Nile Valley, and consequently creating new communities to absorb some five million Egyptians. The project's first step was taken through digging Sheikh Zayed Canal, which will result in cultivating near half a million feddans with Nile waters. Obviously, the target of such hoped-for project went further beyond tradition; as it envisioned new urban, industrial, agricultural and tourist communities, easing pressure on the narrow valley. History of remote sensing applications, in combination with ground truth collections verified their success in monitoring different environmental elements. The new waves of remote sensing products are hopefully to save efforts and time in providing multi scale information, especially in following up progress inland resources. The purpose of this study is to test available remotely sensed products in providing multi-temporal data on natural resources of the century project area, Toshka. Two LANDSAT images (TM of 1987 and ETM of 2001), in addition to ERS image of 2003 were used to analyze land use / land cover classes and to detect environmental changes. ASTER DEM data (v2003) were used to asses the indicative environmental parameters and to find out their relation with landscape aspects. Also some previous studies were included for evaluating the natural land resources in the study area. It was found that new water bodies have been elucidated recently after the go ahead of the project in 1997. New urban, infra structure and agricultural communities were detected in respect with imaging time. The sustainable evolution of Tushka basin flood escape is expected to increase the water seepage into the Nubian sandstone aquifer especially in a westward direction. Multi nature and temporal satellite images of the period 1987 to 2001 showed that an are of 1893 km2 has changed to fresh water body, while 1052 km2 recoded changes in land cover. Images in the period 2001 to 2003 revealed an extension of water bodies for 297 km2, while changes in land cover were recorded in an area of 426 km2. ASTER DEM images revealed that most of changes are located in the flat to slightly undulating promising areas. These areas are characterized by suitable cultivable soils, surface and shallow water resources. It was also concluded that satellite images of different nature are very useful for collecting investable comprehensive natural resources.

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