Full text: Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management (Volume 1)

aspects of Xinjiang. SIR-A imagery used in this 
study provides the first opportunity for targeting 
applications, where spaceborne SAR can be useful for 
land use, natural resource and terrain analysis in 
the Kashagar region. 
Terrain units previously classified on LANDSAT 
imagery for other parts of the province, can also he 
identified with considerable detail in the Kashgar 
region on SIR-A imagery. Different topographic 
features and physiographic regions of the Pamirs may 
be differentiated on the radar image despite 
displacement and layover effects of high-relief 
alpine landforms. However, boundaries of snow- and 
icefields can not be clearly identified for 
monitoring seasonal change and meltwater run-off. In 
the Tarim Basin, topographic relief is hardly 
expressed on the radar image, but different surface 
roughness parameters and surface materials of the 
sandy desert terrain, the alluvial plain and alluvial 
fans each provide distinct signatures. 
The SIR-A image also renders a detailed account of 
land reclamation, the distribution of irrigation 
water, and the afforestation efforts. Forested 
windshelter belts are frequently identified features 
which in turn provide an excellent indication of 
cultivated areas and irrigation schemes. Radar 
imaging techniques are regarded as most suitable for 
monitoring afforestation in arid regions. 
Windshelter belts which otherwise may not be detected 
in similar detail on LANDSAT imagery, play a vital 
role in the protection of the cultivated areas. 
Agricultural development is currently focusing on 
marginal lands within the alluvial plains which offer 
favourable conditions in terms of topography, soils 
and hydrological conditions. 
Terrain analysis and continuous monitoring of 
cultivated regions in Central Asia by means of 
spaceborne imaging radar may offer a powerful tool in 
land use management of arid and semi-arid regions. 
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Reproductions of SIR-A imagery for this study were 
provided by the Principal Investigator of the SIR-A 
experiment, Dr. Charles Elachi, through the World 
Data Center 'A' for Rockets and Satellites, Goddard 
Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. 
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