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Richards, Timothy Steven (1986) Monitoring land cover changes by remote sensing in north west Egypt. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028617

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Abstract

The Mediterratiean coastal strip of Egypt is a semi-arid environment which supports a variety of agricultural practices ranging from irrigated sedentary agriculture to semi-nomadic pastoralism. The sedentarisation of the nomadic Bedouin coupled with an increase in population of both people and livestock and a decrease in the extent of the rangelands, has resulted in severe pressure being exerted upon the environment. Satellite remote sensing of vegetation offers the potential to aid regional management by complementing conventional techniques of vegetation mapping and monitoring. This thesis examines the different techniques available for vegetation mapping using visible and near infrared spectral wave bands. The different techniques available for vegetation mapping using remotely sensed data are reviewed and discussed with reference to semi-arid environments. The underlying similarity of many of the techniques is emphasised and their individual merits discussed. The spectral feature-space of Landsat data of two representative study areas in northern Egypt is explored and examined using graphical techniques and principal components analysis. Hand held radiometric field data are also presented for individual soil types within the region. It is proposed that by using reference data for individual soil types, improved estimates of vegetation cover can be ascertained. A number of radiometric corrections are applied to the digital Landsat data in order to convert the arbitrary digital values of the different spectral bands into physical values of reflectance. The effect of this standardization on the principal components is examined. The stratified approach to vegetation mapping which was explored using the field data is applied in turn to the digital Landsat images. Whilst the stratified approach was not found to offer significant advantages over the non-stratified approach in this case, the analysis does serve to provide an accurate datum against which to measure vegetation. In conclusion a satellite based system for operational vegetation monitoring is proposed.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00028617
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/28617

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