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Mapping the Desertification Process in Southern Morocco Using Remote Sensing Data (1987)

Mapping the Desertification Process in Southern Morocco Using Remote Sensing Data

Benkhalti, Abdellah

Titre : Mapping the Desertification Process in Southern Morocco Using Remote Sensing Data

Auteur : Benkhalti, Abdellah

Université de soutenance : Western Kentucky University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 1987

Résumé
Desertification is a problem occurring in arid and semiarid zones all over the world. It is a consequence of mismanagement of the land. Human activities and livestock pressure on such fragile ecosystems lead to a deterioration of the soil by increasing its salinity, lessening its moisture, and covering it with sand and dust. Aerial photographs and satellite images constitute a tool for mapping and monitoring the desertification process. Multispectral data can assist in detecting the indicators of desertification in early stages in order to plan adequate action. The improvement of the resolution of satellite images and the fact that they are available on a periodic basis make the use of these data suitable for mapping the evolution of desert patches at large scales. The green band of Landsat MSS is used in this study. Two images taken, respectively, in 1976 and 1985 and covering the province of Ouarzazate in southern Morocco are used to map the desertification process and its evolution in the region. At the scale used and given the ground resolution of the MSS (80 meters), significant changes were found between the two images. However, changes occurring at scale smaller than 80 meter square were impossible to detect by visual interpretation of this band.

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