Monitoring desertification by remote sensing using the Tasselled Cap transform for long-term change detection

Anna Zanchetta, Gabriele Bitelli, Arnon Karnieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sensitive areas like oases are threatened by climatic variations and human activities that can catalyze desertification processes. Remote sensing the Earth surface from satellites is a good tool to monitor such types of change through several techniques. In this paper a remote sensing method that has been widely used for vegetated areas is adapted to study dry regions. The method consists of a combination of the Change Vector Analysis and the Tasselled Cap (TC) transform. To adapt it to dryland conditions a new set of parameters for the TC transform is hereby calculated for the Landsat 8 OLI system. The new TC parameters are tested in the analysis of the surface change in Azraq Oasis, Jordan, over a time span of 30 years (1984–2013) for Landsat satellites images. Azraq is considered a good testing site since in the early 1990s it has been subject to a complete drying up of the superficial springs, mainly due to over-exploitation of the groundwater basin. Results show that the chosen technique is able to detect the expected change on the surface, consistent with photo-interpretation and historical information available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-237
Number of pages15
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Azraq Oasis
  • Change Vector Analysis
  • Change detection
  • Desertification
  • Landsat 8 OLI
  • Tasselled Cap transform

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