Remapping the Moroccan argan forest by remote sensing - SPOT 5-10m


The Argan tree is an endemic species of the Moroccan Southwest that plays a critical role in ecological but also at the socio-economic levels. Currently, this ecosystem is subject to many pressures, mainly anthropogenic, leading to its degradation. Despite its importance and the threats to this ecosystem, there is little specific information about the Argan forest distribution area.

New work provides a mapping of this distribution area using 10 SPOT 5 images (10 m resolution). It also led to discriminate, always by satellite imagery, different land covers that are found in the argan woodland (pure argan forest, orchard argan and mixed argan forest).


After ortho-rectification of the images for classification, the adopted classification methodology is divided into three phases. The first two phases consist of classifications by pixels, while the third consists of an object classification. Finally, the last step is to manually correct the maps obtained, their collection and enrichment by various thematic information in order to produce a global map.

The accuracy of the different maps varies from 83 to 95%. This work therefore provides the most accurate mapping of the argan distribution area of southwestern Morocco. A precision that we seek, in perspective, improve while distinguishing different density classes of argan tree stands.


More information: Farid El Wahidi elwahidifarid @



Farid El Wahidi(1), Catherine Lembrée (2), Pierre Defourny(2) et Quentin Ponette(3).

(1)   Farid El Wahidi - Université Cadi Ayyad – Marrakech.

(2)   Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Published on February 27, 2018