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MELMARINA Report Summary

Project ID: ICA3-CT-2002-10009
Funded under: FP5-INCO 2
Country: Egypt

Classification of vegetation and open water and exploration of long-term changes in key sites uning remote sensing

Review of the available remote sensing data for the three primary sites was undertaken and Landsat TM imagery for each of the sites acquired. Imagery was subjected to geometric correction using ground control points (GCPs) and polynomial transformations. At the complex Lake Manzala the many vegetated islands were identified using spectral-radiometric differences visible on the images. Unsupervised classification of imagery was undertaken in order to establish major ecological zones that were compared to field surveys. This permitted the partial identification of the vegetation communities represented by each zone.

Techniques developed to classify contemporary remote sensing imagery were subsequently applied to a number of historical images (for example seven Landsat images in the case of Lake Manzala). In the case of Ghar el Melh, Landsat TM imagery was supplemented by Aster and SPOT images as well as older aerial photographs. Aerial photographs were also available for Merja Zerga. Imagery was employed to distinguish changes in the distribution of aquatic vegetation and open water within the sites. It was also employed to investigate changes in the large-scale configurations of the sites such as modifications to outlets with the sea and reclamation activities.

The specialist software, SHYLOC(System for HYdrology using Land Observation for model Calibration) designed to evaluate channel water levels from remote sensing data was evaluated on the channel network of the floodplain (the Utique Plain) west of Ghar el Melh in Tunisia. Observations of channel width at a number of locations were compared with satellite derived indices of channel width for the corresponding locations using an ASTER image from the summer of 2003.

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Joseph Brows Tito Street 23 El-Nozha El-Gedida
11511 CAIRO
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