Using Remote Sensing to Monitor and Predict the Inundation of the Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt


The Abu Simbel temples, commissioned by Ramesses II in Upper Egypt, are vulnerable to inundation due to the ancient structure’s proximity to the Nile River. Because of the rapid rise of water in the Lake Nasser reservoir, large swaths of land are becoming submerged. In order to monitor the recession of the peninsula in which the structure is located on, remote sensing techniques were employed. Using Landsat 5, 7, and 8 multispectral images coupled with SRTM data, change detection and risk maps were created in order to inspect the changes in the reservoir water line from the years 1985 to 2016. Due to the strong absorption of water in the mid-infrared spectral channel of the satellite images, land-water segregation was possible. In addition, two different scenarios of reservoir rise, 1-meter and 3-meter, were tested to forecast possible effects. A series of statistical calculations were conducted to predict the amount of future inundation in the years 2020 and 2030 using the R software. Results showed that there was a 60 meter retreat of the shoreline over the last 30 years for some segments of the peninsula and its surrounding areas, and an annual shoreline retreat rate of up to ~2 meters.

Cite this Record

Using Remote Sensing to Monitor and Predict the Inundation of the Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt. Raghda El-Behaedi, Douglas Gamble, Eman Ghoneim, Eleanora Reber. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429252)

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Egypt Gis Remote Sensing

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16322