Spectral reflectance of biogenic crust developed on desert dune sand along the Israel-Egypt border

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Abstract

The effect of biogenic crust on imagery acquired by spaceborne sensors is demonstrated. The crust consists mostly of microphytes such as cyanobacteria. The macrophytes (higher vegetation) on the sand dunes are sparse and have a relatively low spectra! reflectance response. However, since a considerable portion of the ground is covered by this biogenic crust, (which has a different spectral reflectance from that of the mobile sands), a sharp brightness contrast is created between the two areas. It can be concluded that the well-known contrast between Sinai (Egypt) and the Negev (Israel), that has long drawn the attention of many observers, is not a direct result of vegetation cover but is caused by an almost complete cover of biogenic crust in the Negev, and a lack of this crust in Sinai, due largely to man’s activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)

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