Use of Remote sensing for the study of the Hazards oF Ghard Abu Muharik sand dune field, Western Desert, Egypt

December 31, 2002

Ghard Abu Muharik dune field lies in the central part of the Western Desert of Egypt. It extends from the NE of the Baharia depression and runs in a southeastern direction to the depression of Kharga and further southward up to the Egypt-Sudan borders. In this region, important development plans are foreseen. Here, sustainable development can be impaired by hazards due to movements of dunes. The project is a contribution for the study of generation, evolution and mobility of the northern part of this dune field and its comparison to its southern part (“head” section of the field). Samples collected from the sand of the dunes at different locations have been subjected to XRD analysis, mechanical analysis, and their grains observed under a scanning electron microscope to investigate their surface characteristics. A geological map of the area surrounding the dune field is presented and new geomorphologic maps and 3D DEM of some selected areas have been prepared. The study gives clues to some aspects of the genesis, evolution and movement of the dune field. Different images acquired at different times (1974, 1984 and 2001) have been used to estimate the movements of single dunes, which proved to be directly proportional to dune sizes. The northern half of the part of the dune field studied in this work includes many tracks and projects for asphalt roads to rely the Bahariya and Farafra oases to the Nile Valley and to some significant sites visited by tourists (a cave situated at the eastern side of the dune fields). The paths of these roads should be carefully planed to avoid hazards caused by dune movements.

NARSS Project Members

Division : Geological applications and Mineral Resources
Prof       : Prof. Omar H. Cherif