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Soil Thematic geo Database for Dubai Emirate

Hussein Harahsheh
Global Scan Technollogies, Dubai, UAE
[email protected]

Mohamed Elias
Global Scan Technollogies, Dubai, UAE

AbdulAzim Elniweiri , Mohamed Mashroum , Yousef Marzouqi , Eman Al Khatib
Dubai Municipality, Dubai, UAE

B.R.M. Rao, M.A. Fyzee
National Remote Sensing Agency (Dept. of Space, Govt of India), Hyderabad, India

Introduction
The socio-economic development of any country is based on land and water resources. Due to increase in population, these resources are over stretched often leading to resource depletion.

There is evidence to show that a majority of world over land resources is under 0 and is undergoing degradation at an unacceptable rate (Kharin et al 1999, Harahsheh 2001) A recent research study on Middle East desertification shows the gravity of land degradation problems in all levels. It concluded that the whole of Middle East is subject to degradation, mainly by vegetation degradation process, where 40% of study area is severely affected by vegetation degradation, followed by soil degradation process (27% severe wind erosion). Without doubt these results show the gravity of land degradation problem in the study area (Harahsheh, 2001). There is therefore need to prudently manage these delicate resources. The situation in Dubai Emirates (UAE) is no different. Moreover, Dubai being located in an arid desert belt, it is highly sensitive to a number of critical environmental issues. Soil is one such important issue, as it is a non-renewable natural resource.

Soil is in-fact at the heart of terrestrial ecology and is vital to our existence. Information on soils with regard to their nature, extent and spatial distribution along with their potential and limitations is required for a variety of uses, namely agricultural development, engineering, sanitary, recreation, aesthetic, etc. In addition, such information is also required for modeling and environmental impact analysis. Therefore, it is imperative that we manage and conserve soils to meet the growing need for food, fodder, fiber and fuel. For this purpose, we must have an in-depth knowledge about different soils, their morphology, characterization, behaviour, kind and degree of problem and their extent and distribution on the landscape.

Dubai municipality has taken the initiative to use the remote sensing technology for thematic mapping of UAE area using satellite imagery including soil mapping. Integration of thematic maps, soil and others are used for better and optimal utilization of various land and water resources and can be used for many applications like demarcation of potential ground water zone and for site selection processes etc.

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