A landscape level analysis of urbanization, lake level change and community impacts in Mwanza Gulf, Tanzania

Authors: Ryan Good*, University of Florida, Jane Southworth, University of Florida
Topics: Remote Sensing, Landscape, Urban Geography
Keywords: Remote Sensing, Urbanization, Landscape, Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor


The area around Mwanza Gulf, off of Lake Victoria in northern Tanzania, has experienced rapid and sustained urbanization during the past several decades. Anecdotal evidence from the ground indicates this urban growth on the landscape has significantly changed the nature of the lake, which is supported by a handful of localized ecological studies. Less attention has been given to a landscape-level study of change across the entire gulf. This study explores the nature of change on the landscape, exploring urban growth and lake change since 1984, using remote sensing techniques. The roughly 2300 square kilometer area of the gulf and its surrounding shores were examined utilizing Landsat imagery from 1984-2017. Change detection analysis, including NDVI and NDBI, was utilized across this landscape, producing both cartographic and statistical outputs of the locations and degree of changes occurring across this region. These outputs are cross-referenced with climatic data to draw final conclusions about the nature of change occurring since 1984, and results highlight the significant and rapid increase in urban cover across the time period and the changes in lake level and lake blooms as a direct result of these modifications. Impacts of landscape changes and lake fluctuations on local communities is also discussed.

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