ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0007.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: African agriculture; Irrigation; Landsat; Remote Sensing; Reservoir.
Online: 1 November 2021 (11:26:45 CET)
Agriculture in Morocco has been extensive until the middle of the 20th century due to the distribution of rainfall and the availability of water. In the middle of the last century hydraulic works were built that allowed the transition to intensive agriculture by the increase of irrigated areas, allowing that in the territories where there is water for irrigation and the climate allows it, the crops adapt to the demands of the market. The objective of the study is to assess by satellite images the land cover between 1985 and 2020, analyzing the changes in cultivation areas, as well as the changes in desert, sub-desert and forest areas of the Oum Er Rbia hydrological basin in Morocco. Landsat satellite images have been used since 1984 by the US government (Aerospace and Geological Agencies). A series of vegetation indices (NDVI, RVI, TNDVI and EVI) have been used; among which TNDVI (Transformed Normalized Vegetation Index) stands out for its better accuracy, which has allowed us to distinguish vegetation in cultivated and forest areas, as well as arid zones. In addition, the study has compared the use of two methodologies to calculate changes in the coverage of the Earth’s surface, has used local image processing from the Sentinel Application Platform tool and has also used the Google Earth Engine tool. The latter being the most optimal, although at the moment it has great limitations. In both methodologies and in the different indices it has been possible to observe during these 35 years as the cultivated area has increased (related to the availability of water by the construction of reservoirs and canals), how plant cover has improved in forest areas, and a range of variations in arid areas.