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Environmental Risk Mapping for the Wadi Mujib-canyon (Jordan) based on Russian stereoscopic TK-350 imagery

Research project T4/DD/25 (Research action T4)

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Description :

The aim of the proposed study concerns the assessment of the usefulness of Russian high resolution and stereoscopic TK-350 images for geomorphological mapping. Initially, the degree of detail that can be obtained will be tested using different mapping scales (1/1000.000 and 1/50.000). The resulting geomorphological map will be used as basic document for:

- pre-project impact assessment. Research will be made to look for the benefit of adding stereoscopic high resolution images to a GIS for geological/geomorphological studies in the frame of pre-project impact assessment prior to the construction of infrastructures in arid and semi-arid regions. Does the possibility exist to use the TK-350 images in combination with ancillary information (e.g. geological maps and digital elevation models) for the set up of risk maps concerning slope instability, filling up of the reservoir, etc?

- the set up of a geo-archaeological map to be used for rescue campaigns. In what way can the TK-350 images help in the localisation of possible archaeological sites in arid and semi-arid regions? In many cases, photographical information is limited or not at all available for these regions. TK-350 images can offer the solution.

It is aimed to set up a basic scenario for geomorphological mapping based upon stereoscopic high resolution images that further can be used as information for the set up of a geo-archaeological map and for the slope instability risk mapping. This scenario must be applicable to arid and semi-arid regions, and must allow to be extrapolated to other regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

The basic scenario will be set up for the Wadi Mujib canyon (Jordan). In the near future, a dam is to be constructed in this area that is composed of marl and limestone, where tectonic activity is very high and where the slopes can be extremely unstable. As a result, landslides are abundant and can be a serious threat to the reservoir (because of the filling up with sediments and the possible damage to the dam wall). The presence of a reservoir will increase the irrigation possibilities, augmenting the amount of water in the soil and thus causing a higher risk for landslides. Moreover, because of the planned dam in the Wadi Mujib, many of the sites will be lost. It is thus needed to make a geo-archaeological map indicating all possible sites in order to better organise rescue campaigns.

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