Topographic Characteristics and Their Impact on Floral Cover in the Nablus Governorate Using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing

Ahmed Ghodieh's picture
Safa Abdel Jaleel Kamel Hamada
The present study aims at identifying the topographic characteristics and their impact on the floral cover in the Nablus Governorate by using the analytic methodology and the techniques of Remote Sensing and the Geographic Information System (GIS). The researcher relied on a topographic map of the Nablus Governorate at a scale of 1:50,000 and a satellite space digital photo Spot Multi Spectral with a spatial resolution that reaches 20 m, and three waves: Red (R), Green (G), and Near Infra Red (NIR). The space photo of the study area was classified by using the Remote Sensing Envi-4 program. The classification process relied on the Maximum Likelihood Classifier Method as one technique of Supervised Classification that required collecting field data from various parts of the study region as samples that represent 7 covers of the earth on the space photo used to classify the photo. Following this, the researcher assessed the classification accuracy. The overall accuracy of the classified photo reached 88%. The contour map of the study was produced based on the topographic map. The researcher produced a digital altitude pattern for the study area based on the contour map. The area was divided to six altitude sections for the purpose of field study of the floral cover according to alleviation above sea level. The field study was carried out during the period from 25/06/2009 to 20/07/2009. The classified photo was then related to the slope and its direction in the Governorate by using the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and carrying out some calculations and studies that served the study aims. The present study reached several findings represented by the capability of GIS and RS to study the topographic characteristics and their impacts on the floral cover and produce accurate maps that benefit the study. Furthermore, the floral cover is largely affected by alleviation above sea level and degree and direction of the slope. It has been found out that there is a retrospective relationship between the floral cover and alleviation above sea level and degree of slope. In addition, the mountain sides whose slopes are northwards have thicker floral cover than those whose slopes are southwards. The study provided recommendations including the necessity to use the techniques of GIS and RS in geographical studies and the studying the changes in earth coverings in general and floral cover in particular. Another recommendation is related to maintaining and planting the slopes with trees to prevent soil erosion.

see the full file here