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Water body response to rainfall amount at small catchment level in Sub -Saharan Africa: initial observations based on low resolution satellite-based time series

Congress: 2008
Author(s): Eva Haas (1), Etienne Bartholomé (2)
(1) Global Environment Monitoring Unit Institute for Environment and Sustainability Joint Research Centre - European Commission T.P. 440 I - 21020 Ispra (VA) Italy (2) Etienne Bartholome Global Environment Monitoring Unit Institute for Environment and Sustainability Joint Research Centre - European Commission T.P. 440 I - 21020 Ispra (VA) Italy fax:+39 03 32 78 90 73

Keyword(s): semi-arid, remote sensing, temporary water bodies
AbstractSurface water resources are particularly scarce in the semi-arid regions of Western Africa and occur with a high inter and intra annual variability. Until now, the knowledge of the availability of water in this region was based on maps of perennial water bodies, maximum extent of wetlands, well known rivers, potential drainage networks and on local knowledge of the appearance of water. The Global Environment Monitoring Unit of the JRC has developed a method to map and monitor small water bodies in arid and semi-arid regions using low resolution satellite imagery from the SPOT VEGETATION instrument, and to derive time series of the occurrence of surface water in 10 day time steps (dekads) per catchment. By combining this with time series of remote sensing derived rainfall it is possible to study the spatial and temporal variability of the threshold of accumulated rainfall, beyond which an increase of surface water can be observed, in a similar way like the rainfall-runoff relationship is classically analyzed at ground level. The analysis of satellite derived biophysical parameters such as fractional green cover will help to understand the driving forces behind the variability.
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