Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 769–777 | Cite as

Change detection of the coastal zone east of the Nile Delta using remote sensing

  • H. M. El-AsmarEmail author
  • M. E. Hereher
Original Article


The coastal zone of the Nile Delta is a promising area for energy resources and industrial activities. It also contains important wetland ecosystems. This coastal area witnessed several changes during the last century. A set of four satellite images from the multi-spectral scanner (MSS), thematic mapper (TM) and Systeme Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) sensors were utilized in order to estimate the spatio-temporal changes that occurred in the coastal zone between Damietta Nile branch and Port-Said between 1973 and 2007. Image processing applied in this study included geometric rectification; atmospheric correction; on-screen shoreline digitizing of the 1973 (MSS) and 2007 (SPOT) images for tracking the shoreline position between Damietta promontory and Port-Said; and water index approach for quantifying Manzala lagoon surface area change using 1973 (MSS), 1984 (TM) and 2003 (TM) images. Results showed that coastal erosion was severe near Damietta promontory and decreased eastward, however, accretion was observed near Port-Said. About 50% of the coastal strip was under erosion and 13% was under accretion. In addition, a remarkable decline (34.5%) of the Manzala lagoon surface area was estimated. These changes were attributed mainly to the control of the River Nile flooding and the land use change by anthropogenic activities.


Nile Delta Remote sensing Change detection 


  1. Abdel-Daiem A (2000) Morphological and hydrochemical characteristics of Bardawil lagoon in comparison with that of Manzala lagoon, Northern Egypt. J. Environ Sci, Mansoura University, Egypt 20:177–187Google Scholar
  2. Ahmed MH, El Leithy BM, Thompson JR, Flower RJ, Ramdani M, Ayache F, Hassan S (2009) Applications of remote sensing to site characterization and environmental change analysis of North African coastal lagoons. Hydrobiologica 622:147–171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayache F, Thompson J, Flower J, Boujarra A, Rouatbi F, Makina H (2009) Environmental characteristics, landscape history and pressures on three coastal lagoons in the Southern Mediterranean Region: Merja Zerga (Morocco), Ghar El Melh (Tunisia) and Lake Manzala (Egypt). Hydrobiologia 622:15–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benninger LK, Suayah IB, Stanley DJ (1998) Manzala lagoon, Nile delta, Egypt: modern sediment accumulation based on radioactive tracers. Environ Geol 34:183–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chavez PS (1996) Image-based atmospheric correction—revised and improved. Photogramm Eng Remote Sens 62:1025–1036Google Scholar
  6. Coleman JM, Robert HH, Murray SP, Salama M (1981) Morphology and dynamic sedimentology of the eastern Nile delta shelf. Mar Geol 42:301–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dasgupta S, Laplante B, Meisner C, Wheeler D, Yan J (2009) The impact of sea level rise on developing countries: a comparative analysis. Clim Change 93:379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. El Banna M, Frihy O (2009) Human-induced changes in the geomorphology of the northeastern coast of the Nile Delta, Egypt. Geomorphology 107:72–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. El-Asmar HM (2002a) Short term coastal changes along Damietta–Port Said coast northeast of the Nile Delta, Egypt. J Coast Res 18:433–441Google Scholar
  10. El-Asmar HM (2002b) Holocene paleoshorelines along the Manzala lagoon, northeast of the Nile Delta, Egypt. N Jb Geol Paloont Mh, Stuttgart, 6:337–361Google Scholar
  11. El Banna M (2007) Erosion and accretion rates and their associated sediment characters along Ras El Bar coast, northeast Nile Delta, Egypt. Environ Geol 52:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. El-Fishawi NM (1989) Coastal erosion in relation to sea level changes, subsidence and river discharge, Nile Delta coast. Acta Mineral Petrogr 30:161–171Google Scholar
  13. El-Raey M, Sharaf El-Din SH, Khafagy AA, Abo Zed AI (1999) Remote sensing of beach erosion/accretion patterns along Damietta–Port Said shoreline, Egypt. Int J Remote Sens 20:1087–1106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frihy OE (1988) Nile Delta shoreline changes: aerial photographic study of a 28-year period. J Coast Res 4:597–606Google Scholar
  15. Frihy OE, Dewidar KM (2003) Patterns of erosion/sedimentation, heavy mineral concentration and grain size to interpret boundaries of littoral sub-cells of the Nile Delta. Mar Geol 199:27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Frihy O, Dewidar Kh, Nasr S, El Raey M (1998) Change detection of the northern Nile delta of Egypt: shoreline changes, Spit evolution, margin changes of Manzala lagoon and its islands. Int J Remote Sens 19:1901–1912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Frihy O, Debes AE, El Sayed WR (2003) Processes reshaping the Nile delta promontories of Egypt: pre- and post-protection. Geomorphology 53:263–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gao B (1996) NDWI—a normalized difference water index for remote sensing of vegetation liquid water from space. Remote Sens Environ 58:257–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hereher ME (2009) Inventory of agricultural land area of Egypt using MODIS data. Egypt J Remote Sens Space Sci 12:179–184Google Scholar
  20. Hereher ME (2010) Sand movement patterns in the western desert of Egypt: an environmental concern. Environ Earth Sci 59:1119–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Iba-ez C, Day JW, Canicio A, Prat N, Curc A (1996) The Ebro Delta, Spain: water and sediment management in the context of relative sea level rise. In: Zhan E (ed) Proc second int conf on the Mediterranean coastal environment, MEDCOAST, Ankara, Turkey, pp 809–826Google Scholar
  22. Lu D, Mausel P, Brondizio E, Moran E (2004) Change detection techniques. Int J Remote Sens 25:2365–2404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lunetta RS, Elvidge CD (1998) Remote sensing change detection: environmental monitoring methods and applications. Ann Arbor Press, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  24. Manohar M (1981) Coastal processes at the Nile delta coast. Shore Beach 49:8–15Google Scholar
  25. Mass JF (1999) Monitoring land-cover changes: a comparison of change detection techniques. Int J Remote Sens 20:139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McFeeters SK (1996) The use of normalized difference water index (NDWI) in the delineation of open water features. Int J Remote Sens 17:1425–1432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ouma Y, Tateishi R (2006) A water index for rapid mapping of shoreline changes of five East African Rift Valley lakes: an empirical analysis using Landsat TM and ETM + data. Int J Remote Sens 27:3153–3181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Randazzo D, Stanley D, Geronimo I, Amore C (1998) Human-induced sedimentological changes in Manzala Lagoon, Nile Delta, Egypt. Environ Geol 36:235–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sestini G (1992) Implications of climatic changes for the Nile Delta. In: Jeftic L, Milliman D, Sestini G (eds) Climatic change and the Mediterranean. Edward Arnold, London, pp 535–601Google Scholar
  30. Singh A (1989) Digital change detection techniques using remotely sensed data. Int J Remote Sens 10:989–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stanley DJ (1988) Subsidence in the northeastern Nile Delta: rapid rates, possible cause, and consequence. Science 240:497–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stanley DJ (1990) Recent subsidence and northeast tilting in the Nile Delta, Egypt. Mar Geol 94:147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stanley D, Warne A (1993) Nile Delta: recent geological evolution and human impact. Science 260:628–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Syvitski JPM (2008) Deltas at risk. Sustain Sci 3:23–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Syvitski JPM, Harvey N, Wolanski E, Burnett WC, Perillo GME, Gornitz V (2005) Dynamics of the coastal zone. In: Crossland CJ, Kremer HH, Lindeboom HJ, Marshall Crossland JI, Le Tissier MDA (eds) Global fluxes in the Anthropocene. Springer, Berlin, pp 39–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xu H (2006) Modification of normalized difference water index (NDWI) to enhance open water features in remotely sensed imagery. Int J Remote Sens 27:3025–3033CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, Damietta BranchMansoura UniversityNew DamiettaEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Damietta BranchMansoura UniversityNew DamiettaEgypt

Personalised recommendations