The Aeolian Sand Dunes in Iraq: A New Insight

Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)


Desertification can be considered as the major challenge in the arid and semi-arid regions, particularly in the last decades. Aeolian sediments arise as one of the main factors of desertification in term of extent and movement in the Iraqi territory. Aeolian sand dunes are one of the most amazing natural features on Earth. Understanding how aeolian sediments (i.e. sand dunes) form and move has long been a research topic in Earth surface processes. This chapter describes a remote sensing approach utilized to monitor temporal and spatial changes of aeolian sand dunes in Hor Al-Dalmaj area, which is classified according to climatology as an arid area. The aeolian sand dunes in Hor Al-Dalmaj area characterized by NW-SE direction, make them parallel to the fold axes extend. The study area is located in the central part of Iraq, where the growth of desertification has been observed. Two primary types of sensors: passive and active have been utilized in this chapter. The aeolian sand dunes were extracted from Landsat TM and OLI acquired in 2000 and 2016, respectively. This result shows that desertification has been increased in the study area. Moreover, we used two C-Band SAR Sentinel-1A (2 ascending) data to monitor the aeolian sand dunes in Hor Al-Dalmaj area between March 2015 and August 2015. The SARPROZ, SNAP and SNAPhu software were used to recognize and monitor aeolian sand dunes movements using Differential Interferometry Synthetic-Aperture Radar (DInSAR) technique.


Aeolian sand dunes DInSAR Iraq Change detection 



We thank NASA for providing TRMM data, and we thank the USGS for providing the Landsat data. Many thanks to the European Space Agency for providing the sentinel SAR data. We are grateful to the Geological Survey of Iraq for providing the environmental reports and supporting the fieldwork.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iraq Geological SurveySulaymaniyahIraq
  2. 2.Iraq Geological SurveyBaghdadIraq

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