International Conf. on Water Resources & Arid Environment (2004)
Desertification Monitoring Using Remote Sensing Technology
Ismat M. El Hassan
Civil Engineering Department, College of EngineeringKing Saud University P.O. Box 800
Riyadh 11421 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, email@example.com
Desertification phenomena started spreading worldwide at high speed since the second half of the
last century. United Nations reports indicate that about 35 million square kilometers of land are subject to
desertification effects. This is accompanied with a loss of about 26 billion American dollars of agricultural
production. This is why desertification is becoming the most natural phenomena that attracts attention of world
authorities and specialists.
The dry land which is subject to desertification covers about 90 per cent of the Arab world. In these
lands concentrate most of the agricultural resources of the Arab world. Hence, desertification phenomena
resembles the most serious and challenging natural phenomena for the Arab world. That is due to its direct and
hard effect on development. It is directly related to life needs such as water resources and plantation which are
necessary to both human beings and animals.
Remote sensing technology has been used to help scientists to understand the concepts and to
monitor the changes of the Earth constituents, both exterior and interior, that take place through time. That is
because of the ability of remote sensors to provide a broad and repetitive view of the Earth planet. One of these
changes is the process of desertification.
This paper is an attempt to present desertification as an effective phenomena, its causes,
consequences and henceforth application of remote sensing in monitoring its expansion. Some of the studies
that were carried out for the use of remote sensing in monitoring expansion of desertification in some Arab
countries would be reviewed.
According to a United Nations report (UNCCD,