Land Use/Land Cover and Vegetation Status

  • Noura BakrEmail author
  • Mohamed H. Bahnassy
Part of the World Soils Book Series book series (WSBS)


With an area around one million square kilometers, five land use/land cover (LULC) classes are distinguished in Egypt, namely, agricultural land, barren land, urban areas, natural vegetation (aquatic and terrestrial), and water bodies. In this chapter, each LULC class is discussed, and their changes are briefly introduced. The LULC in Egypt is not enormously varied as over 90% of Egypt soils are desert, and other economic activities and settlement existed in around 4 to 5%. Although the agricultural land represents around 4% of the total area, the agricultural sector is a crucial player in the Egyptian economy. The old cultivated land (Oldlands) are observed in the Nile Valley and Delta, whereas, the Newlands represent the horizontal expansion in the desert, mainly around the fringes of the Nile Delta. Wheat, rice, barley, and maize are the main cultivated cereal crops that are recognized in Egypt. Both cereal crops yield and their cultivation extend are almost doubled within the last five decades. Barren lands are observed in three locations, western desert, eastern desert, and the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt oases and depressions locate in the western desert, the Red Sea Mountains are in the eastern desert, and the highest spot in Egypt (St. Catherine Mountain) locates in the Sinai Peninsula. The urban sprawl is one of the main anthropogenic challenges that causes an observed change in LULC in Egypt. Thus, the government adopts several policies to relocate Egyptian outside the Nile Valley and Delta regions by constructing new communities in the desert and conserved the Oldlands from being lost due to the urban sprawl. Besides Nile River and its branches, other water bodies such as the five northern lakes, Nasser Lake, and Toshka depression are recognized. The northern lakes are subjected to change as a result of both environmental and anthropogenic impacts.


Land use/Land cover Agriculture Cereal crops Change detection 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Soils and Water Use DepartmantNational Research Centre (NRC)CairoEgypt
  2. 2.Soil and Water Sciences Department, Faculty of AgricultureAlexandria UniversityAlexandriaEgypt

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