Monitoring land cover changes in a newly reclaimed area of Egypt using multi-temporal Landsat data

N. Bakr, D. C. Weindorf, M. H. Bahnassy, S. M. Marei, M. M. El-Badawi

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107 Scopus citations


Monitoring land cover changes using multi-temporal remotely-sensed data provides an effective and accurate evaluation of human impact on the environment. Agriculture is a key element of Egyptian social fabric and economy. The Egyptian government adopted policies aimed at extending cultivated lands near both fringes of the Nile delta. The Bustan 3 area, located in the desert region of the West Delta of Egypt, was targeted for reclamation in the 1990s, and occupies 341.27 km2. The main objective of this study was to monitor land cover changes in this area using multi-temporal Landsat images captured in 1984, 1990, 1999, 2004, and 2008. Temporal changes were determined using both a hybrid classification approach and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) in that time series. The hybrid classification results showed that this area involves four land cover classes: urban or built-up land, agricultural land, water, and barren land. From 1984 to 1990, the study area was barren land, but during the 1990s, reclamation processes produced remarkable changes in land cover. Assessment carried out on the produced thematic images indicates accuracies of 94.5%-100% were achieved. From 1999 to 2004, around 62% of the area experienced land cover change. The NDVI results indicate that the vegetated area increased after reclamation efforts were initiated. However, NDVI results were not fitted in 2008 as the accuracy assessment for the produced image during this period was only 77%. Generally, from 1984 to 2008, the Bustan 3 area of Egypt has experienced a transformation from 100% barren land to 79% agricultural land, as a result of successful land reclamation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-605
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Bustan 3 area
  • Hybrid classification
  • Land cover changes
  • Landsat imagery
  • NDVI


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