The most frequent disasters in Western Saudi Arabia are flash floods, earthquakes and volcanism, especially submarine volcanism potentially causing tsunamis in the Red Sea and submarine mass movements, dust storms and droughts. As the consequences and effects of the climate change are expected to have an increasing impact on the intensity and occurrence of geohazards as flash floods, length of drought periods, or dust storms, the systematic, continuous monitoring of these hazards and affected areas using satellite data and integration of the results into a geographic information systems (GIS) database is an important issue for hazard preparedness and risk assessment. Visual interpretation and digital image processing of optical aerial and satellite images, as well as of radar images, combined with Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) PALSAR DEM data are used in this study for the mapping and inventory of areas prone to geohazards, such as flash floods or tsunami flooding. Causal or critical environmental factors influencing the disposition to be affected by hazards can be analyzed interactively in a GIS database. How remote sensing and GIS methods can contribute to the detection and continuously, standardized monitoring of geohazards in Western Saudi Arabia as part of a natural hazard geodatabase is demonstrated by several examples, such as the detection of areas prone to hydrological hazards, such as flash floods causing flooding of roads and settlements, the outlining of coastal areas of the Red Sea prone to tsunami flooding and storm surge, the mapping of traces of recent volcanic activity, and of fault/fracture zones and structural features, especially of ring structures.
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