Assessment of the reliability of supervised classifications of Landsat-7, ASTER, and SPOT-5 multispectral data in rock unit discriminations of Jabal Daf-Wadi Fatima area, Saudi Arabia

  • Adel Zein BishtaEmail author
Original Paper


Multispectral, multiresolution remotely sensed data were processed to emphasize geological interpretation of Jabal Daf-Wadi Fatima area. The investigated area is situated in the central western part of Saudi Arabia and geologically consists of igneous and metamorphosed rocks overlain by sedimentary sequence belonging to the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Three sets of digital satellite data, Landsat-7 ETM+, ASTER, and SPOT-5, were used in this study. The application of image processing techniques enables to identify and delineate the lithologic units and the structural features of the study area. The results of this study indicate that the confusion matrix of the three maximum likelihood supervised classifications of the three datasets shows that the Landsat ETM+ bands scored the best degree of average and overall accuracy (77 and 78%, respectively). This classification distinguishes most of the rock units for mapping in the investigated area. The supervised classification of ASTER and SPOT bands has lower degrees of accuracy than the classified Landsat data. The supervised classification of SPOT bands has a degree of average and overall accuracy of 66 and 67%, respectively, but it is the best for distinguishing the spectral signatures of the different members of Fatima Formation (lower, middle, and upper members). The statistical analyses of the confusion matrices of classifications and the interpretation of the produced classified thematic maps revealed that the classification accuracy does not necessary depend on the spatial resolution of satellite data. The data of the highest spatial resolution such as SPOT data are also very useful in emphasizing and classifying the rock units of a small outcrop area. The detailed geological map of Jabal Daf-Wadi Fatima area is interpreted in this work from supervised classified images of different resolutions as well as the structure map of this area. This study shows that it is preferable to use the supervised classifications of multiresolution data for rock unit discrimination in detailed field mapping.


Arabian Shield Landsat-7 ASTER SPOT-5 Image processing Supervised classification Jabal Daf-Wadi Fatima Fatima Formation 



The editor and two anonymous reviewers are thanked for their constructive comments that improved the manuscript.

Funding information

This study was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under grant no. 145-734-D1435. The author, therefore, acknowledges with thanks the DSR for technical and financial support.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Earth SciencesKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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