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Landscape evolution in the Nile Valley: physical and anthropogenic 3D changes in the last 40 years in Dayr al-Barsha

Marijn Hendrickx (UGent) , V De Laet, Cornelis Stal (UGent) , Alain De Wulf (UGent) and Rudi Goossens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
The last four decades, worldwide, the landscape rapidly evolved in both a physical and anthropogenic sense. Here, the Nile valley is used as a prime example of how human impact may influence the physical environment. Due to its rich heritage, the cultural and environmental history of the Nile valley has already tremendously been studied. Studies focusing on the cultural history of the Nile valley are mostly field based and pinpointed towards specific target sites. These sites however were implanted in the regional landscape, and as such, information on these sites and their regional landscape are of equal importance. Digital surface models (DSMs), extracted from very high resolution stereoscopic satellite images, are a perfect tool to gain knowledge on this regional landscape aspect. In this study Corona images from 1970 and a Worldview-1 images (WV-1) from 2009 have been used in order to reveal not only environmental changes over the last four decades. In addition it also gets information on the natural landscape before the construction of the Aswan Dam, which was finished in 1970 blocking the famous natural Nile floods and major human impact could began. In this paper the challenges of DSM extraction from Corona and WV-1 images is discussed together with the detection of palaeo river channels and the evolution of anthropogenic features like villages all in the surroundings of Dayr-al Barsha (Middle-Egypt). The combination of the enhanced digital terrain extraction (eATE) module of Erdas Imagine and ground control points collected in the field provides accurate and high resolution DSMs. These surface models revealed potential palaeo river channels, and their presence has been confirmed by targeted geomorphological fieldwork in the region. Comparison between the Corona and the WV-1 DSM revealed that human impact on the landscape has been significant over the last four decades. All villages are grown in size and height. Even a number of new villages have been constructed over the last forty years. In the near future these models will be integrated with geomorphological an archaeological data in order to better understand the environmental as well as cultural evolution of the landscape in the region under study.
Keywords
CORONA, Worldview-1, landscape evolution, digital surface models, Egypt, Dayr al-Barsha

Citation

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MLA
Hendrickx, Marijn, V De Laet, Cornelis Stal, et al. “Landscape Evolution in the Nile Valley: Physical and Anthropogenic 3D Changes in the Last 40 Years in Dayr al-Barsha.” EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of Abstracts. 2012. Print.
APA
Hendrickx, Marijn, De Laet, V., Stal, C., De Wulf, A., & Goossens, R. (2012). Landscape evolution in the Nile Valley: physical and anthropogenic 3D changes in the last 40 years in Dayr al-Barsha. EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of abstracts. Presented at the 32nd EARSeL Symposium : Advances in geosciences.
Chicago author-date
Hendrickx, Marijn, V De Laet, Cornelis Stal, Alain De Wulf, and Rudi Goossens. 2012. “Landscape Evolution in the Nile Valley: Physical and Anthropogenic 3D Changes in the Last 40 Years in Dayr al-Barsha.” In EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Hendrickx, Marijn, V De Laet, Cornelis Stal, Alain De Wulf, and Rudi Goossens. 2012. “Landscape Evolution in the Nile Valley: Physical and Anthropogenic 3D Changes in the Last 40 Years in Dayr al-Barsha.” In EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Hendrickx M, De Laet V, Stal C, De Wulf A, Goossens R. Landscape evolution in the Nile Valley: physical and anthropogenic 3D changes in the last 40 years in Dayr al-Barsha. EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of abstracts. 2012.
IEEE
[1]
M. Hendrickx, V. De Laet, C. Stal, A. De Wulf, and R. Goossens, “Landscape evolution in the Nile Valley: physical and anthropogenic 3D changes in the last 40 years in Dayr al-Barsha,” in EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of abstracts, Mykonos, Greece, 2012.
@inproceedings{3162494,
  abstract     = {{The last four decades, worldwide, the landscape rapidly evolved in both a physical and anthropogenic sense. Here, the Nile valley is used as a prime example of how human impact may influence the physical environment. Due to its rich heritage, the cultural and environmental history of the Nile valley has already tremendously been studied. Studies focusing on the cultural history of the Nile valley are mostly field based and pinpointed towards specific target sites. These sites however were implanted in the regional landscape, and as such, information on these sites and their regional landscape are of equal importance. Digital surface models (DSMs), extracted from very high resolution stereoscopic satellite images, are a perfect tool to gain knowledge on this regional landscape aspect. In this study Corona images from 1970 and a Worldview-1 images (WV-1) from 2009 have been used in order to reveal not only environmental changes over the last four decades. In addition it also gets information on the natural landscape before the construction of the Aswan Dam, which was finished in 1970 blocking the famous natural Nile floods and major human impact could began. In this paper the challenges of DSM extraction from Corona and WV-1 images is discussed together with the detection of palaeo river channels and the evolution of anthropogenic features like villages all in the surroundings of Dayr-al Barsha (Middle-Egypt). The combination of the enhanced digital terrain extraction (eATE) module of Erdas Imagine and ground control points collected in the field provides accurate and high resolution DSMs. These surface models revealed potential palaeo river channels, and their presence has been confirmed by targeted geomorphological fieldwork in the region. Comparison between the Corona and the WV-1 DSM revealed that human impact on the landscape has been significant over the last four decades. All villages are grown in size and height. Even a number of new villages have been constructed over the last forty years. In the near future these models will be integrated with geomorphological an archaeological data in order to better understand the environmental as well as cultural evolution of the landscape in the region under study.}},
  author       = {{Hendrickx, Marijn and De Laet, V and Stal, Cornelis and De Wulf, Alain and Goossens, Rudi}},
  booktitle    = {{EARSeL, 32nd Symposium, Book of abstracts}},
  keywords     = {{CORONA,Worldview-1,landscape evolution,digital surface models,Egypt,Dayr al-Barsha}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{Mykonos, Greece}},
  title        = {{Landscape evolution in the Nile Valley: physical and anthropogenic 3D changes in the last 40 years in Dayr al-Barsha}},
  year         = {{2012}},
}