Wadis of Oman: Satellite Image Atlas

Principal Investigator: Farouk El-Baz; CO-PI: Magaly Koch

Research Assistants: Lynne Fielding

Graduate Students: Daniel Blanco, Ghazi Al-Rawas, Susan Oakley

Sponsors: Ministry of Information, Sultanate of Oman

Duration: May 1998-May 2001

Project Summary

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has endeavored to create a modern state for the benefit of all the people of the Sultan of Oman. His vision has driven the development of Oman based on proper strategic planning and the use of the most appropriate technologies. It is through this vision that satellite images were used to better understand the land area of the Sultanate of Oman. These images provide unique perspectives of the land and the natural environment.

Detailed knowledge of the land characteristics is essential to sustainable development of the natural resources, as well as the enjoyment and preservation of the environment. This Atlas provides information on the wadis of Oman, one of the most spectacular features of the country. Rain water was plentiful during more humid climates in the geological past. The surface water carved channels that left an indelible mark on the terrain. The resulting valleys are a marvel of nature that delights local inhabitants as well as visitors from around the world.

At the present time rainfall is scarce, but once in a while certain regions experience heavy rain storms. When this occurs some wadis fill with water and flash floods commence. The force of such floods can destroy property and infrastructure. More importantly, flash floods endanger people. For this reason the Atlas identifies regions that might be prone to this hazard to be avoided whenever possible. The maps of drainage patterns also assist in identifying locations for dams to store the rain water for use before it reaches the sea.

It is our hope that the information in this Atlas will have multiple uses for the benefit of the people of Oman. The information is particularly timely as we plan for prosperity in the Third Millennium.