Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Assessment of sand encroachment in El-Qutaynah area, Sudan using remote sensing and geographic information system

Wedad Fadol1, Mohammed Salih2, Elhag A. M. H.1* and Amna A. Hamid1
1Remote Sensing Authority (RSA), National Center for Research (NCR), Ministry of Sciences and Technology (MOST), Khartoum, Sudan. 2Department of Soil Science and Environment, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Sudan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 March 2010
  •  Published: 31 May 2012


This study focused on the assessment and evaluation of land degradation and desertification in El-Qutaynah area, White Nile State, Sudan. Through monitoring and mapping of the changes that occurred in the land use, land cover (LU/LC) due to drought and sand encroachment in the study area was the main goal of this research. The study covered the period between 1986 to 2006. The research was based on the data and information deduced and extracted from remote sensed landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and landsat enhanced thematic mapper (ETM+) images, in addition to secondary data of geologic and soil maps. Image processing procedures were performed to determine land use/land cover classes for the recent and reference image. The study attempted to update land use/land cover information using different methods of data transformation such as: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and supervised classification. The study revealed that the extent of cultivated areas and sand was largely increased. However, an increase in vegetation cover was indicated using NDVI images. The study also revealed that both natural environments and human activities witnessed remarkable changes. Sand encroachment has extremely affected the study area. The study proved that remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) are efficient tools in land degradation studies.


Keywords: El-Qutaynah, sand encroachment, geographic information system, remote sensing.