TIGER – Remote Sensing of Water Use and Water Stress in African Savanna Ecosystem from Local to Regional Scale: Implications for Land Productivity

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    Project Manager :
    Ana Andreu

    Savannas are among Africa’s most productive landscapes, supporting livestock and rural livelihoods. Droughts and erratic rainfall patterns across large parts of Africa results in water-limited environments, sensitive to climatic conditions, environmental changes (i.e., invasive species) and land management practices, jeopardizing this ecosystem’s productivity and resilience. This project aims to develop a modelling framework to quantify savannas’ water use/stress, as well as to determine the spatial distribution and effects of invasive species on water resources. Integrating Earth Observation data from local to regional scales, the project hopes to support decision-making at different levels (farm, river basin).

    The high spatial and temporal resolution VIS/NIR data provided by Sentinel 2 will allow a continuous monitoring of vegetation cover (from each layer) and actual evapotranspiration (Kc-FAO56). Meanwhile, thermal data provided by Sentinel 3, at lower spatial resolution, will help to assess ecosystem water stress (TSEB). The procedure will be firstly tested with SPOT 5 (VIS/NIR) and AATSR (TIR) and then with Sentinel 2 (VIS/NIR) and Sentinel 3/MODIS (TIR). After validation (flux towers), the method can be applied to other areas. By combining these ET-estimation approaches savanna water use and the invasive species influence can be regularly monitored, providing key information to improve integrated water resources management over large areas.