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Google Earth and geologic research in remote regions of the developing world; an example from the Western Desert of Egypt

Barbara J. Tewksbury, Asmaa A. K. Dokmak, Elhamy A. Tarabees and Ahmed S. Mansour
Google Earth and geologic research in remote regions of the developing world; an example from the Western Desert of Egypt (in Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research, Steven J. Whitmeyer (editor), John E. Bailey (editor), Declan G. De Paor (editor) and Tina Ornduff (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (October 2012) 492: 23-36

Abstract

Remote sensing is an important option for finding interesting research problems in remote regions of the world, but existing freely available imagery, such as Landsat imagery, has limitations in terms of resolution. In some remote areas, recently available high-resolution imagery in Google Earth has the potential to revolutionize the kind of research that can be initiated and carried out. This paper details an example from a remote region of Egypt's Western Desert. Work by others on Eocene carbonates of the Drunka and El Rufuf Formations has focused on lithologic and paleontologic aspects, and previous mapping of the contact between the two formations in the Western Desert using early Landsat imagery (69 m/pixel) shows a simple contact. High-resolution imagery in Google Earth (approximately 1 m/pixel) shows, however, that the contact is both folded and faulted. We used high-resolution images in Google Earth to define mappable subunits and to do detailed mapping of folds and faults in a 400 km (super 2) study area. Subsequent field work confirmed the accuracy of lithologic and structural mapping in Google Earth, targeted critical areas for field data collection, and provided ground truth for extending mapping into remote areas. Freely available, high-resolution satellite imagery in Google Earth not only allows identification of research questions but is also critical in pre-field work mapping, targeting sites for field work, and disseminating research results in areas of the world where field work is difficult, funding is poor, and access to dissemination of research results outside the region is limited.


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 492
Title: Google Earth and geologic research in remote regions of the developing world; an example from the Western Desert of Egypt
Title: Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research
Author(s): Tewksbury, Barbara J.Dokmak, Asmaa A. K.Tarabees, Elhamy A.Mansour, Ahmed S.
Author(s): Whitmeyer, Steven J.editor
Author(s): Bailey, John E.editor
Author(s): De Paor, Declan G.editor
Author(s): Ornduff, Tinaeditor
Affiliation: Hamilton College, Geosciences Department, Clinton, NY, United States
Affiliation: James Madison University, Department of Geology, Harrisonburg, VA, United States
Pages: 23-36
Published: 201210
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-8137-2492-8
Meeting name: 2011 GSA Penrose conference, Google Earth and virtual visualizations in geoscience education and research
Meeting location: Mountain View, CA, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20110104Jan. 4-8, 2011
References: 30
Accession Number: 2013-010875
Categories: Geomorphology
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N25°26'60" - N26°00'00", E30°19'60" - E30°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA, United StatesOld Dominion University, USA, United StatesGoogle, USA, United StatesAlexandria University, EGY, EgyptDamanhour University, EGY, Egypt
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201308
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