Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images acquired on 17 February 1986, and 28 February, 1993, respectively, were used to demonstrate their usefulness for both surface/spectral mapping and temporal change detection in Kuwait City and environs. High pass spatial filters with a relatively large kernel (201 pixels by 201 pixels) were used to enhance high frequency information in both the bright desert and dark urban areas. The filtered results were edge enhanced to sharpen the local textural information. Colour composites were made for analyses using the TM bands-2, -3, -4 and-2, -4, -7. The two multi-temporal images were geometrically and radiometrically calibrated to each other and used as input to an automatic change detection procedure. The 'change image' composite, made from the individual change image results generated using TM bands -2, -4, and-7, detected and mapped temporal changes dealing with urban development, vegetation, coastal wetlands, and sand sheet surface differences caused by the large oil spill that occurred during the 1991 Gulf War at the Greater Burgan oil field.