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Coastal wetland vegetation features and digital Change Detection Mapping based on remotely sensed imagery: El-Burullus Lake, Egypt

Nasser Mohamed Eid, Asmaa, Olatubara, C.O., Ewemoje, T.A., Farouk, Haitham, El-Hennawy, Mohamed Talaat
International soil and water conservation research 2020 v.8 no.1 pp. 66-79
Landsat, Phragmites australis, biodiversity, drying, fish farms, lakes, land cover, land use, land use and land cover maps, normalized difference vegetation index, remote sensing, shrinkage, soil, surface water, vegetation, water birds, water conservation, wetlands, Egypt
El-Burullus Lake is one of the four Egyptian Ramsar sites that constitute internationally important wetlands as they contain a rich biodiversity and have a large number of water bird species. But the valuable resources in El-Burullus Lake and its surrounding area have faced various threats to wetlands over recent decades. This study was carried out to evaluate the dynamics of land cover change using three change scenes of recent and past satellite data from 1990 to 2019. The study utilized ArcGIS10.7, ERDAS Imagine 14, Landsat TM (1990, 1999, and 2010), Landsat OLI-TIRS (2019) to analyze the land-use/land-cover (LULC) of El-Burullus wetland. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) were employed to assess the change scenario of the area. Results indicated that vegetated land has increased significantly with a concomitant shrinkage in the water body and open soil during the study period. Approximately 53 km² (7.0%) of water body and 8.7 km² (1.3%) of open soil were lost, while vegetation areas expanded to approximately 29.9 km² (7.4%). Factors that underpin the observed changes in the area are; reclamation projects and fish-farms which are creating the danger of drying up of the southern coastal parts of the lake, as well as spreading of reed beds (mainly: Phragmites australis) that covers about 20% of El-Burullus lake which led to dry up the lake parts. Therefore, the study suggests the need for urgent attention on conservation of remaining wetland resources for sustainable utilization for the next generation.