Number of groundwater sources explored through space images

SHARJAH - The project for exploring groundwater by using space images resulted in locating a large number of groundwater sources, which are ready for drilling by the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA).


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Mon 1 May 2006, 11:03 AM

Last updated: Mon 11 Oct 2021, 10:44 AM

This was stated by Dr Farouq Al Baz, Director of the Centre for Remote Sensing, Boston University, UAE, while addressing a symposium conducted by Sewa and the University of Sharjah.

Dr Al Baz said that the project which cost $400 million was executed under the instruction of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to encourage the use of innovative approaches in order to explore the potential groundwater resources in the emirate of Sharjah and the other northern emirates.

In an exclusive statement to Khaleej Times, Dr El Baz declared that as per the instructions of Dr Shaikh Sultan, a scientific research project for exploration of groundwater resources by using space images is being executed for three years.

"That comes in line with the boundless conviction of Dr Shaikh Sultan for the necessity of taking advantage of the state-of-the-art satellite images of the area, analysed to identify the potential sites or new groundwater resources. The project is assisting in preparing a long-term strategic plan for the rational use of groundwater sources," he said.

He said the research programme covers the emirate of Sharjah and other northern emirates. “That indicates the strong brotherly relations linked between the emirates,” he commented.

According to Dr Al Baz satellite, radar and multi-spectral images were acquired, processed and analysed in the Centre for Remote Sensing, Boston University, in order to assess the potential of groundwater resources. The acquired images were used to generate a database of GIS which will help in making informed decisions in the future, not only in exploration of groundwater resources, but also for other development activities and monitoring of changes to the environment. The analysis of the image data would emphasise the potential groundwater from two unconventional sources, networks of fracture zones in the highlands and the buried courses of the former rivers and streams. It is proposed to map both fracture zones and sandcover paleo-channels to identify areas with high potential for groundwater storage.

He pointed out that satellite image techniques are the most innovative approaches used to assess the potential of groundwater resources in desert and arid areas. It is scientifically proved that deserts are not formed by wind action, but as a result of heavy rains accumulated in sinkages during old geological areas, he said.

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