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Title: Sand dune movement and its impact on human activities in the north western coast region of Libya : an analysis of the sediment characteristics of sand dunes, and their movement using satellite images, and the effects of encroachment on farms assessed by a questionnaire survey
Author: Koja, Suliman Farag
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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Sand movement is one of the many environmental problems facing humans in the dry and semi-dry areas of the world. This study has investigated the observed changes in sand dune coverage compared to predictions, and has also assessed the impact of sand movement on human activity in the north western coastal region of Libya. The study used three methods. The first was a statistical model proposed by Bagnold, which correlates wind shear velocity with particle size, in order to predict likely sand movement. It was found that 60% of sand grains within the study area have a diameter of less than 0.25 mm, making them liable to be moved by the wind speeds recorded, particularly from March until September, and mostly in a northerly direction. The sand in the western part of the study area had a greater predicted rate of sand transport compared with the sand in the eastern part, which was related to its origin. The second method involved the analysis of satellite images for four different years; from 1986 to 2003. The land cover in the study area was found to have changed over this time. Sand dune area cover had increased, and there were other changes particularly a decline in forest. The third method was the use of a questionnaire (the respondents being land owners), which showed that there was notable loss of crop production (by about a quarter) due to sand movement, and that land owners mostly used afforestation to help control the sand movement in the region. The observed sand movement did not match the predictions based solely on sand grain size and wind speed, and climatic analyses showed no convincing trends which could explain increased sand movement except perhaps an increase in wind gusts. The thesis concludes that the overriding determinant in greater sand movement over the period studied was the loss of forest from the area due to human impacts, which farmers are having to compensate for by planting trees locally to reduce sand movement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Encroachment, Sand dunes, Sand movement, Farming, Impacts, Spatial analysis, Misurata, Almurgib, Tajoura, Libya