Al Ain, UAE, 8 July 2006: Geologists have been developing a remotely sensed vegetation index that could be used for future water resources management and evaluation of the impact of climatic changes on agricultural production.
A study has been completed by analysing evapotranspiration (a process through which moisture returns to the air by evaporation from the soil and transpiration by plants), estimates from GIS-based Remote Sensing and field data in a selected area of Al Ain.
Dr. Fares M. Howari, a professor at the Geology Department at UAE University (UAEU), said it was an ongoing project. Dr. Howari is a specialist in environmental geology and natural hazards and Dr. Ahmad Murad, also from the Geology Department, has been working with him on the project, supported by the Research Affairs Sector of the UAEU.
He said evapotranspiration could also be useful in developing good water resources management schemes, evaluating climatic changes effects on agricultural production, computing of the soil water balance, defining irrigation scheduling, and evaluating water conservation practices.
He said the most remarkable geological features in the vicinity of the study area is Jebel Hafeet, a 29 km long foreland, surrounded by dry ‘wadi’ systems. He said field trips were conducted by the research team to areas of interest including parks and play areas.