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Geosciences 2014, 4(2), 50-72; doi:10.3390/geosciences4020050

Remote Sensing and GIS Contribution to the Investigation of Karst Landscapes in NW-Morocco

Institute of Applied Geosciences, TU Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, D-10587 Berlin, Germany
Department of Natural Science, Polydisciplinary Faculty, University of Cadi Ayyad, B.P. 4162, Route de Sidi Bouzid, Safi 46000, Morocco
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2014 / Revised: 10 June 2014 / Accepted: 16 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Mapping and Modeling of Earth Architectures)


Remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) methods were used for karst research in the coastal area of Northwest Morocco near the city of Safi in order to identify karst landscapes, to describe karst features and to detect geological structures relevant to karst development. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of different satellite data, such as Landsat, RapidEye and IKONOS imagery, as well as ASTER- and SRTM-derived digital elevation models (DEMs) for the analysis of karst features. Dolines were identified by visual interpretations based on high resolution satellite imagery and aerial photographs. Digital image processing of the satellite data, such as deriving vegetation and water index images, helped to identify regions with relatively higher surface water input, where karstification processes might be more intense than in surrounding areas. ArcGIS-integrated weighted overlay tools were used for this purpose as well by aggregating of morphometric, causal factors (lowest and flattest areas) influencing the susceptibility to higher surface water input. Lineament analysis based on the different satellite data contributed to the detection of near-surface fault and fracture zones with potential influence on dissolution processes in sub-terrain waterways. View Full-Text
Keywords: karst; morphometric analysis; weighted overlay; GIS; remote sensing; Northwest Morocco karst; morphometric analysis; weighted overlay; GIS; remote sensing; Northwest Morocco

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Theilen-Willige, B.; Malek, H.A.; Charif, A.; El Bchari, F.; Chaïbi, M. Remote Sensing and GIS Contribution to the Investigation of Karst Landscapes in NW-Morocco. Geosciences 2014, 4, 50-72.

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