Mapping the dynamics of floating vegetation in Lake Kyoga and its linkage to satellite lakes

Authors: Yaxiong Ma*, Boston University, Sucharita Gopal, Boston University
Topics: Environment, Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: vegetation, remote sensing, Landsat, water bodies
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study aims to assess the suitability of remote sensing for mapping water bodies of Lake Kyoga and its satellite lakes in an environment with dynamic floating aquatic vegetation. Lake Kyoga is one of the outflows of Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. As a result, Lake Kyoga’s water balance is strongly influenced by the inflow from Lake Victoria. The fluctuation in water level would cut off the linkages from the satellite lakes to the main lake. Furthermore, the linkages are usually covered by floating aquatic vegetation (i.e., papyrus swampland and water hyacinth) which would create refugia of hypoxic environment that protect native fish species from Nile perch, a near-top-level predator introduced in the 1950s. All available Landsat images for the study area and ancillary ground data were used to produce the maximum extent of waterbodies. The objective of this research is to derive thematic products, like floating aquatic vegetation and marginal vegetation maps that capture the ecosystem dynamics to identify threats to the native fish population and to develop a decision support system dedicated to environment and resource management.

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