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Paper Description


Investigation of the Impact of Urbanization on Land Use Categories in Al-Ahsa Oasis Using RS and GIS Techniques


Authors: Al-Rowali M, Aït Belaïd M, Musa N
Abstract: Urbanization is considered as an important problem due to its impact on the land use categories surrounding urban areas. Urbanization causes the loss of the green zone and accelerates the desertification process particularly in the desert and arid zones such as the study site under investigation.
This study focuses on the use of remotely sensed (RS) data and geographic information systems (GIS) techniques in investigating the effects of urbanization on land use categories in Al-Ahsa oasis. The study is based on two satellite images taken of Al-Ahsa oasis in 1987 and 2001 from the Thematic Mapper sensor of Landsat satellite, topographical maps and current field observations. The adopted methodology consisted of three phases: 1) intensive geographical study; 2) visual interpretation and analysis of the satellite images; and 3) spatial analysis of the remote sensing results using GIS tools.
The geographical study revealed that Al-Ahsa oasis is suffering from urbanization phenomenon and population growth. The visual interpretation based on computer and remote sensing software (ERDAS Imagine) enabled us to produce two maps of land uses and to identify the area of the land use categories (agriculture, urbanization, hills, water, sabkha, planned areas, and sand). The changes occurring in the period between 1987 and 2001 were studied using geographic information system software (Arc Info). This proved that urbanization has particularly impacted the agricultural lands, because they are not cost effective and also due to the small size of parcels. Also, urbanization has occurred due to other lands use categories (planned areas, Sabkha).
In conclusion, the study proved that RS and GIS techniques along with ancillary data could be used to assist decision makers to prepare future plans, in order to find appropriate solutions to urbanization encroachment.
Published in: Arab Gulf Journal for Scientific Research;22(2):86-95
URL: WWW.AGU.EDU.BH/AGJSR
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