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Mapping the spatial distributions of the fluvial deposits in terms of particles size as well as imaging the near-surface features along the non-vegetated aeolian sand-sheets, provides valuable geological information. Thus this work aims at investigating the contribution of the dual-polarization SAR data in classifying and mapping the surface sediments as well as investigating the effect of the radar incident-angle on improving the images of the hidden features under the desert sand cover. For mapping the fluvial deposits, the covariance matrix ([C2]) using four dual-polarized ALOS/PALSAR-1 scenes cover the Wadi El Matulla, East Qena, Egypt were generated. This [C2] matrix was used to generate a supervised classification map with three main classes (gravel, gravel/sand and sand). The polarimetric scattering response, spectral reflectance and temperatures brightness of these 3 classes were extracted. However for the aeolian deposits investigation, two Radarsat-1 and three full-polarimetric ALOS/PALSAR-1 images, which cover the northwestern sandy part of Sinai, Egypt were calibrated, filtered, geocoded and ingested in a
GIS database to image the near-surface features. The fluvial mapping results show that the values of the radar backscattered coefficient (r) and the degree of randomness of the obtained three classes are increasing respectively by increasing their grain size. Moreover, the large incident angle (hi = 39.7) of the Radarsat-1 image has revealed a meandering buried stream under the sand sheet of the northwestern part of Sinai. Such buried stream does not appear in the other optical, SRTM and SAR dataset. The main reason is the enhanced contrast between the low backscattered return from the revealed meandering stream and the surroundings as a result of the increased backscattering intensity, which is related to the relatively large incident angle along the undulated surface of the study area. All archaeological observations support the existence of paleo-fresh water lagoon at the northwestern corner of the study area, which might have been the discharge lagoon of the revealed hidden stream.
Investigating the use of dual-polarized and large incident angle of SAR data for mapping the6 fluvial and Aeolian deposits,
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