Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 517–526 | Cite as

Detection and impact of land encroachment in El-Beheira governorate, Egypt

  • Ahmed A. Afifi
  • Khaled M. Darwish
Original Article


Mainly, the high fertile land of Egypt is limited and threatened by the problem of land dwindling. In this context, three temporal satellite imagers were utilized to generalize the land cover changes. This is to reliable monitoring the urban sprawl changes and its action on farming area in El-Beheira governorate, Egypt, after the revolution of January 25th. The two algorithms of supervised maximum likelihood and post-classification change detection were implemented through cross tabulation for monitoring the urban sprawl to achieve change detection. Implementing ancillary data, digital interpretation and the area expert knowledge further refined the classification results. GIS utilities assist to argue out the risk of urban expansion at the expense of highly productive units. The output results showed that the rapid imbalance changes occurred among three land cover classes (urban, desert and cultivated land). During the (1985–2013) period, the urban land cover area was increased from 137.9 to 579.4 km2 (23.8%). Nevertheless, in just 3 years (2010–2013) urban sprawl expanded from 381.9 to 579.4 km2 (65.9%) as a total loss of cultivated land, during the insecure situation of the 25th revolution. Exclusively, these changes strengthened the land fragmentation processes over the green land as a result of urban encroachment. Information on urban growth, land use/cover change are essential for local government and urban planners for the amelioration of future sustainable development.


Encroachment on land Change detection Land cover Remote sensing GIS 



The authors would gratefully acknowledge Mr. Ihab Y. Ahmed, researcher in the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), Cairo, Egypt, for his valuable assistance in image analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Soils and Water Use DepartmentNational Research Centre (NRC)GizaEgypt
  2. 2.Land and Water Technologies Dept., Arid Lands Cultivation Research Inst.City for Scientific Research and Technological ApplicationsBorg El-ArabEgypt

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