Sensing and Imaging: An International Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 3–4, pp 133–151 | Cite as

SAR Remote Sensing of Buried Faults: Implications for Groundwater Exploration in the Western Desert of Egypt

  • Ahmed Gaber
  • Magaly Koch
  • M. Helmi Griesh
  • Motoyuki Sato
Original Paper

Abstract

The hydrological setting of a desert plain area located in Egypt, west of Aswan city, is still not well understood, and thus, its groundwater potential remains largely unknown. Images from the ALOS/PALSAR L-band sensor have been used to detect and delineate the subsurface structures in this area. Linear, elliptical and circular polarization transformations were applied to the ALOS/PALSAR full polarimetric data by changing the orientation angle (ψ°) and elliptical angle (χ°). The circular polarization (ψ = 0° and χ = 45°) proved to be the best transformation for revealing buried faults in various strike directions, which have not been reported in the last version of the official geologic map of this area. Such derived circular polarization images were further enhanced by applying the Optimal Polarization Contrast Enhancement method. The moisture content (ӨS) of the study sites was generally low, with an average of roughly 0.01%. The average Root Mean Square Height (hRMS) of the surface roughness was also low with 0.01 cm across all sites. The relative dielectric constant (εr) of the sand in the study area produced a very low value of 3.04. The effects of ӨS, εr and hRMS on the radar backscattered signals turned out to be very low, thus providing, optimal conditions for L-band to penetrate relatively deeply. Moreover, 21 GPR profiles were acquired using 270 MHz shielded antennas to validate the radar remote sensing results. These GPR profiles reveal obvious offsets in the subsurface stratigraphy suggesting that such highly fractured zones are possibly favorable zones for groundwater accumulation.

Keywords

Buried faults ALOS/PALSAR L-band GPR Groundwater potential Western Desert Egypt 

References

  1. 1.
    El-Baz, F. (2007). Use of a desert strip west of the Nile Valley for sustainable development in Egypt. Bulletin of the Tethys Geological Society, Cairo, Egypt, 2, 1–10.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Said, R. (1962). The geology of Egypt (p. 377). Amsterdam, New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abd El-Razik, T., & Razavaliaev, A. (1972). On the tectonic origin of the Nile Valley between Idfu and Qena. Egypt Journal of Geology, 16(2), 235–245.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Youssef, M. I. (1968). Structural pattern of Egypt and its interpretation. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 52(4), 601–614.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sabins, F. F. (1996). Remote sensing principles and interpretation. New York, USA: Freeman.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    McCauley, J. F., Schaber, G. G., Breed, C. S., Grolier, M. J., Haynes, C. V., Issawi, B., et al. (1982). Subsurface valleys and geoarchaelology of Egypt and Sudan revealed by radar. Science, 218, 1004–1020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schaber, G. G., McCauley, J. F., Breed, C. S., & Olhoeft, G. R. (1986). Shuttle imaging radar: Physical controls on signal penetration and subsurface scattering in the eastern Sahara. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, GE-24(4), 603–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schaber, G. G., McCauley, J. F., & Breed, C. S. (1997). The use of multifrequency and polarimetric SIR-C/X-SAR data in geologic studies of Bir Safsat, Egypt. Remote Sensing of Environment, 59, 337–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mätzler, C. (1998). Microwave permittivity of dry sand. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 36(1), 317–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Henderson, F. M., & Lewis, A. J. (1998). Principles and applications of imaging radar. Canada: Wiley.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jenson, S., & Dominique, J. (1988). Extracting topographic structure from digital elevation data for geographical information system analysis. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 54(11), 1593–1600.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Richards, J., & Jia, X. (2005). Remote sensing digital image analysis: An introduction (4th ed., p. 439). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Conoco, Coral, & The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. (1987). Geological Map of South West Egypt, Scale 1:500 000.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Boerner W., Mott H., Lunenburg E., Livingstone C., Brisco B., & Brown R. J., et al. (1998). Polarimetry in remote sensing: Basic and applied concepts, chapter 5: In Manual of remote sensing, (3rd ed., Vol. 2). Principles and applications of imaging radar. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kostinski, A., & Boerner, W. (1987). On the polarimetric contrast optimization. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 35(8), 988–991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bryant, R., Moran, M., Thomas, D., Holifield, C., Skirvin, S., Rahman, M., et al. (2007). Measuring surface roughness to parameterize radar backscatter models for retrieval of surface soil moisture. IEEE Transaction of Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 4, 1–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wyatt, D. E., & Temples, T. J. (1996). Ground penetrating radar of small-scale channel joints and faults in the unconsolidated sediments of the Atlantic Coastal plain. Journal of Environmental Geology, 27, 219–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    EGSMA, NARSS, UNDP, & UNESCO. (2005). Geomorphologic map of Aswan Quadrangle, Egypt. Executed by UNESCO Cairo Office, EGY/97/011, scale 1:250.000.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    EGSMA, NARSS, UNDP, & UNESCO. (2005). Geological Map of Aswan Quadrangle, Egypt. Executed by UNESCO Cairo Office, EGY/97/011, scale 1:250.000.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Njoku, E.G. (1976). Microwave remote sensing of near-surface moisture and temperature profiles. PhD Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Schmugge, T. J. (1980). Effect of texture on microwave emission from Soils. IEEE Transaction of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, GE-, 18(4), 353–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Topp, G. C., Davis, J. L., & Annan, A. P. (1980). Electromagnetic determination of soil water content: Measurements in coaxial transmission lines. Water Resources Research, 16, 574–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mätzler, C., & Murk, A. (2010). Complex dielectric constant of dry sand in the 0.1 to 2 GHz range. Research Report No. 2010-06-MW.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ulaby, F. T., Moore, R. K., & Fung, A. K. (1982). Microwave remote sensing; active and passive: v.2, radar remote sensing and surface scattering and emission theory (pp. 457–1064). Reading: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed Gaber
    • 1
  • Magaly Koch
    • 2
  • M. Helmi Griesh
    • 3
  • Motoyuki Sato
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Center for Remote SensingBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  3. 3.Geology DepartmentSuez Canal UniversityIsmailiaEgypt

Personalised recommendations