Urban development and landuse change patterns in Muscat city, Oman

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Urban sprawl is a remarkable characteristic of cities of the Arabian Gulf region, including Muscat city, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman. The city has grown from discrete isolated settlements to a compact, dense urban metropolitan region across narrow coastal alluvial plain. This paper examines the specific implications and trends of urban landuse dynamic in Muscat city in the last five decades. Urban landuse patterns were traced and analyzed from different sources, including: Landsat, IRS, IKONOS, QuickBird, GeoEye, Aerial photos and Printed map. RS & GIS change detection techniques using Normalized Difference Building Index (NDBI) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were used. The categorization of landused classes was mainly based on high resolution images (IKONOS, QuickBird and GeoEye). The results indicated that, residential, commercial and industrial landuses have shown large increase, basically at the expense of vacant and agricultural areas. The trend of urban landuse patterns was largely filling the gap and empty areas, creating an urban structure of high density. The actual range of urban expansion might have been small, and the degree of change for the whole city region, might have been not remarkable because of the relatively new expansions of urbanization and industrial development in Muscat. However, the negative impacts of these changes might escalate in the future if a plan to regulate land development is not developed and implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Geoinformatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Instrumentation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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