Using InSAR coherence for investigating the interplay of fluvial and aeolian features in arid lands: implications for groundwater potential in Egypt
MetadataShow full item record
Citation (published version)Ahmed Gaber, Mohamed Abdelkareem, Ismail Abdelsadek, M Koch, Farouk El-Baz. 2018. "Using InSAR Coherence for Investigating the Interplay of Fluvial and Aeolian Features in Arid Lands: Implications for Groundwater Potential in Egypt." Remote Sensing, v. 10, Issue 6, pp. 832 - 849. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10060832
Despite the fact that the Sahara is considered the most arid region on Earth, it has witnessed prolonged fluvial and aeolian depositional history, and might harbor substantial fresh groundwater resources. Its ancient fluvial surfaces are, however, often concealed by aeolian deposits, inhibiting the discovery and mapping of potential groundwater recharge areas. However, recent advances in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging offer a novel approach for detecting partially hidden and dynamic landscape features. Interferometry SAR coherence change detection (CCD) is a fairly recent technique that allows the mapping of very slight surface changes between multidate SAR images. Thus, this work explores the use of the CCD method to investigate the fluvial and aeolian morphodynamics along two paleochannels in Egypt. The results show that during wetter climates, runoff caused the erosion of solid rocks and the rounding of sand-sized grains, which were subsequently deposited in depressions further downstream. As an alternating dry climate prevailed, the sand deposits were reshaped into migrating linear dunes. These highly dynamic features are depicted on the CCD image with very low coherence values close to 0 (high change), while the deposits within the associated ephemeral wadis show low to moderate coherence values ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 (high to moderate change), and the country rocks show a relative absence of change with high coherence values close to 1. These linear dunes crossed their parent’s stream courses and dammed the runoff to form lakes during rainy seasons. Part of the dammed surface water would have infiltrated the ground to recharge the permeable wadi deposits. The alternation of fluvial and aeolian depositional environments produced unique hydromorphometrically trapped lakes that are very rare in arid regions, but of great interest because of their significance to groundwater recharge.
Rights© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).