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Many studies house indicated the increase of the proportion of urban areas over the arable land in many provinces of the Sultanate of Oman. This came as a result of urban growth and development processes taking place since the era of the Renaissance which started in 1970. Consequently, spatial variation in land use is an important issue to be taken into consideration, because lands are being converted to be less productive, due to the lack of raw soil, vegetation, and water as a result of human exploitation of the limited resources in different ways, in addition to the natural factors of droughts and floods and all that will eventually lead to land degradation. Barka province (wilayat) in al Batinah Governorate is one of the provinces, which has been affected by land cover/land use changes due to several reasons. Therefore, this study will focus on the determination of land use changes, whether commercial or residential that have been occurred in the province, in addition to the loss of agricultural areas and fertile land during the period from 1987 to 2015. Remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) were utilized in order to delineate and to determine the cause of shrinking in the arable land and fertile land. Satellite images were used to detect the change in land use/land cover by applying selective digital image processing techniques such as supervised classification and change detection. Thematic maps were prepared using GIS software with attribute data about the land uses in the study area, which highlights and show the impact of urban growth on land degradation.


Urban Growth Spatial Variation Land Uses Changes Land Degradation

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