Innovations in Water Resources Management, Hydrology & Observations
Monitoring Water Bodies and Wetlands in the Sahel using Continental Scale Remote Sensing
Online Presentation: Monitoring Water Bodies and Wetlands in the Sahel using Continental Scale Remote Sensing
Within the SAWEL Project, hydrosolutions GmbH has developed the Sahel-Water web Application. It brings together innovative remote sensing techniques for monitoring lakes and river stretches all over the Sahel region. This app implemented in Google Earth Engine offers access to a database of more than 300 water bodies in 10 Sahelian countries. Based on Landsat and Sentinel-2 optical imagery we can not only track the development of water surface area over the last 20 years, but the shoreline locations in combination with recent altimetric data from Icesat-2 satellite also provide us information about historic water levels. Perhaps for the first time ever it is now possible to visualize the fascinatingly heterogeneous patterns of drying and wetting across the Sahelian zone. Finally, the app is also able to approximately quantify the sediment balance of these water bodies. This information is as well derived from shoreline observations and altimetric data. Since the nearshore bathymetry of the present is known, changes in the waterline curvature over time tell us where and at which rate sediments have been deposited or eroded.
Information generated from this application can support wetlands management and help to create resilient Sahelian wetland livelihoods.