Elevation modelling and palaeo-environmental interpretation in the Siwa area (Egypt): Application of SAR interferometry and radargrammetry to COSMO-SkyMed imagery
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2015.02.017.
Reason for embargo
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Digital elevation models produced from COSMO-SkyMed imagery were used to delineate palaeo-drainage in a wide area surrounding the Siwa and Al-Jaghbub oases of the western Sahara Desert (Egypt and Libya).This new generation of synthetic aperture radar imagery is suitable for this purpose because of its high spatial resolution and capacity to penetrate dry surface sediments. Different techniques such as radar interferometry and radargrammetry were used to produce digital elevation models. These were assessed for accuracy and then combined to produce a single elevation model of the area. The resulting elevation model was used to support the geological study and palaeo-environmental interpretation of the area. It revealed buried features of the landscape, including inactive palaeo-drainage systems. Drainage features were extracted from the elevation model using geographical information systems; results were combined and assessed with respect to geological field data, as well as data from the literature. Previous studies in the area suggest that a wide river, probably the old Nile River, flowed into the Libyan palaeo-Sirte before the Late Messinian drawdown of the Mediterranean Sea. During the Late Messinian lowering of the sea the fluvial system changed shape and carved deep canyons throughout north-eastern Africa. The reported findings on the key Siwa area were used to precisely delineate the physiography of the modern drainage network and to confirm findings from our previous geological research in the area.
We gratefully acknowledge Ruggero Matteucci and Johannes Pignatti (La Sapienza, University of Rome), Francesco Checchi (ENI S.p.A., IOEC), Filippo Bonciani and Debora Graziosi (University of Siena) for their collaboration. Research was supported by the ASI (Id 2262) in the framework of the COSMO-SkyMed Announcement of Opportunity project “Application of COSMO-SkyMed data for geological researches in Egypt and Libya”.
Vol. 129, June 2015, pp. 46 - 62