Analysis of Desert Sand Dune Migration Patterns from Landsat Image Time Series for The Southern California Desert
- Corresponding Author:
- Mbamalu ON
Discipline of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy
University of the Western Cape
Bellville 7535, South Africa
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: April 22, 2016; Accepted date: May 09, 2016; Published date: May 16, 2016
Citation: Potter C, Weigand J (2016) Analysis of Desert Sand Dune Migration Patterns from Landsat Image Time Series for The Southern California Desert. J Remote Sensing & GIS 5:164. doi:10.4172/2469-4134.1000164
Copyright: © 2016 Potter C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Developers of renewable energy installations in southern California need to evaluate the risks to facility operations from proximity to active desert dunes. This study first validated Landsat image spectral data using ground-based data collection of aeolian sand migration rate measurements surveyed in Arizona as an accurate method for characterizing dune mobility. The predominant direction of measured sand dune movements was correctly mapped at this site from the satellite imagery, as well as the migration distances of the leading edges of sand dunes over the entire 1992-2010 monitoring period. Application of the Landsat image method to two dune systems in southern California demonstrated its usefulness for mapping sand migration patterns and rates. Between 1995 and 2014, Palen Dunes lost over half of its stable dune surface and increased its sand accumulation zone by nearly that same area coverage. In contrast, changes in the sand movement patterns at Kelso Dunes were not apparent, perhaps due in to its more constraining mountain landscape features. These results have an immediate application for understanding future sand transport and characterizing potential impacts to nearby utility-scale solar energy installations.