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Assessment and Mapping of Land Cover/Use Aided by Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques in Elnour Natural Forest, Blue Nile State, Sudan

Abass Mohamed Elhag Hamed, Motasim Hyder Abdelwahab, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, El Mamoun Haroun Osman
The main aim of this study was to assess and mapping of land cover (LC) / land use (LU), using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques in Elnor natural forest reserve, Blue Nile state, Sudan. The study also attempted to update some information in the study area such as LC and contour map by using different methods of data transformation and analysis such as Normalized Different Vegetation Index (NDVI), interpolation and supervised classification. Thematic Mapper (TM), Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) and Landsat8 images were used in LCLU changes and supported by field observation. The study area was affected by cutting the mother trees and overgrazing. Closed forests during 2000, 2010 and 2019 decreased from   36.9%, 28.5% and 18.7% respectively. Moreover, the total area of bare soil increased by about 14.4%, 47.2% and 39.7% in 2000, 2010 and 2019 respectively. The open forest (grassland) decreased from 48.7% in (2000) to 41.7% in (2019). A Digital land cover map was produced using LCCS software; depending on the fieldwork data, they were found in four Classes. Mixed Woodland Single Layer, Semi-Deciduous Shrub land with Open Herbaceous, Open Grassland, Single XII Layer and Hardpans.  The study revealed that there are some indicators of land degradation during the last 20 years (2000, 2010 and 2019) and is expected to continue increasing unless serious measures are carried out to reduce it.
Land cover/land use evaluations, NDVI, wood cutting, overgrazing, deforestation, LCCS, Remote Sensing and GIS
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