Observations of water, air and soil pollution in Israel and vicinity from the ERTS-1 imagery

Joseph Otterman*, Avihu Ginzburg, George Ohring, Yuri Mekler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Israel is a participant in the Earth Resources Technology Satellite Program (ERTS). The imagery of Israel and vicinity taken by the Multi Spectral Scanner of the ERTS-1 Satellite has been the subject of analysis in a multidisciplinary research program. The objectives of the program are mapping of agricultural crops, mainly wheat and orange groves, mapping of natural vegetation, and studies for Israeli hydrology, arid regions research, geology, and oceanography. Cases of water, air, and soil pollution have been observed in the imagery on several dates, and are reported in this paper. These are: oil slicks in the Gulf of Suez and possibly near Haifa; smoke plumes, extending over some 100 km in a nearly straight line along the Gulf of Suez, and soil pollution caused by copper mine effluents in the Arava Valley in Israel. The images of these cases of pollution are presented and 'space signatures', i.e., the radiometric spectral characteristics of these cases of pollution as seen from space are also given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1974


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