Environmental risk mapping in the Wadi Mujib-canyon (Jordan), based on Russian stereoscope KFA-350 satellite imagery

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Context and objectives

The project is meant to build up a basic scenario for geomorphological mapping based on Russian stereoscopic high resolution TK-350 satellite images, which gives basic information for the preparation of a geo-archaeological map and fr risk mapping concerning slope (in)stability. This scenario has to be applicable to arid and semi-arid regions, and it must possible to extent it to the Mediterranean areas. The basic scenario is built up for the canyon of the Wadi Mujib (Jordan). In this area the construction of a dam is planned for the near future. This will lead to a archaeological rescue campaign and specific problems of slope (in)stability. From archaeological viewpoint (use partner: ‘Belgian Excavations in Jordan at Lehun, Prof. Dr. D. Homès-Frédéricq, KMKG) there is the need for research of the evaluation of the high resolution images in pre-studies concerning localising of possible sites in arid and semi-arid regions. For such regions stereoscopic aerial photographs are often not available. The Russian high resolution TK-350 images could be a possible solution for this problem. On the other hand there is the need (use partner: Engineering Consultants « Verdeyen & Moenaert », Ir. P. D’Haene, VM) for reseach of the surplus value of the input of stereoscopic high resolution images in a Geographical Information System for a geomorphological/geological (neotectonism) pre-study by the construction of great infrastructure works, above all dams, in arid and semi-arid regions.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

The combination of the geomorphological interpretation of TK-350 images to become a landslide map with a short controlling field survey, gives the necessary, qualitative basic information to build up a model of landslide risk mapping. Even if time or money prevent the execution of field survey, the quality of the basic information gained by the use of TK-350 products should be satisfying: in the case study of the Wadi Mujib canyon the geomorphological map (with indications of landslide presence) corresponded good with the field observations done afterwards. Archaeological excavations in the future will be based on the indications of probability on the geo-archaeological maps. In general the map on 1:50,000 contains usable and detailed information for planning the rescue campaign in the frame of the construction of the dam. Both customers (KMKG and VM) were very satisfied with the holistic approach of this feasibility study and the attained quality of results. According to the customers’ opinion the use of TK-350 satellite images for environmental risk studies can be a good solution if aerial photographs are not available or the costs for a flight to obtain the necessary photos are estimated to be to high. The key advantage is the 100% security that, for almost every region in the world, stereoscopic TK-350 images are available. A second chief advantage is the time-saving concerning the easy image restitution of the TK-350 images when integrating them into a GIS. However, in some cases, the limited or maximum scale for enlarging (1:50,000) can be a disadvantage.
Deliverables (analogue and digital; 1:100,000 and 1:50,000): DEM, lithological map, tectonical map, geomorphological map, geo-archaeological map, landslide risk map, 3D-views.
Project leader(s): UGent - Department of Geography
Belgian partner(s)
OZER André ULg - Laboratoire de Géomorphologie et Télédétection
Location: Region:
  • Jordan

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