Thermal variation in the Israel-Sinai (Egypt) peninsula region Academic Article uri icon


  • Surrounded by Mediterranean Sea in the north-west and Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba of Red Sea in south, the Israel-Sinai (Egypt) peninsula is a unique and special region in the world. Historically, this region was the origination centre of the world's three main religions: Judaism, Islamism and Christianity and consequently it was appraised as the Holy Land. Contemporarily, the political and ideological conflicts between Jewish and Arab branded it as one of the hottest places in the world. Standing geographically at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa as well as locating geologically at the junction of African continent and Middle East plate, the region is not only interpreted as of geopolitical importance in global strategies but it is also characterized with obvious landscape and climate differences. Rich rainfall in the Mediterranean coastal region and northern Israel produces its unique climate pattern and dense vegetation cover features. In contrast, bare rocky mounts and valleys with extremely drought desert environmental ecosystem are the prevalent landscape in the central and southern Sinai. Three natural zones can be distinguished in the region: Mediterranean climate area, savannah, and desert. These unique features have attracted many scientific studies oriented to the region (Ritter 1968, Ostendorff et al. 1976, Danin 1983, Neev et al. 1987, Karnieli and Tsoar 1995; Yair et al. 1997). The estimation of land surface temperature (LST) for assessment of its spatial variation in the region, however, still remains as an untouched topic due to many difficulties. The availability of remote sensing data, especially NOAA-A VHRR covering the whole scene of the region, provides a possibility for the assessment of LST variation in such a vast region. The retrieval of LST from NOAA-A VHRR data with two thermal channels (4 and 5) separately operating in 10.5-11.3/lm and 11.5-12.5/lm is mainly through the application of so-called split window algorithm technique. Several kinds of split window algorithms have been developed and proposed in the last twenty years on .

publication date

  • January 1, 2001