Remote sensing appraisal of Lake Chad shrinkage connotes severe impacts on green economics and socio-economics of the catchment area

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Abstract

Lake Chad commonly serves as a major hub of fertile economic activities for the border communities and contributes immensely to the national growth of all the countries that form its boundaries. However, incessant and multi-decadal drying via climate change pose greater threats to this transnational water resource, and adverse effects on ecological sustainability and socio-economic status of the catchment area. Therefore, this study assessed the extent of shrinkage of Lake Chad using remote sensing. Landsat imageries of the lake and its surroundings between 1987 and 2005 were retrieved from Global Land Cover Facility website and analysed using Integrated Land and Water Information System version 3.3 (ILWIS 3.3). Supervised classification of area around the lake was performed into various land use/land cover classes, and the shrunk part of its environs was assessed based on the land cover changes. The shrinkage trend within the study period was also analysed. The lake water size reduced from 1339.018 to 130.686km2 (4.08–3.39%) in 1987– 2005. The supervised classification of the Landsat imageries revealed an increase in portion of the lake covered by bare ground and sandy soil within the reference years (13 490.8– 17 503.10km2) with 4.98% total range of increase. The lake portion intersected with vegetated ground and soil also reduced within the period (11 046.44–10 078.82km2) with 5.40% (967.62km2) total decrease. The shrunk part of the lake covered singly with vegetation increased by 2.74% from 1987 to 2005. The shrunk part of the lake reduced to sand and turbid water showed 5.62% total decrease from 1987 to 2005 and a total decrease of 1805.942km2 in area. The study disclosed an appalling rate of shrinkage and damaging influences on the hydrologic potential, eco-sustainability and socio-economics of the drainage area as revealed using ILWIS 3.3.

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Onamuti, O. Y., Okogbue, E. C., & Orimoloye, I. R. (2017). Remote sensing appraisal of Lake Chad shrinkage connotes severe impacts on green economics and socio-economics of the catchment area. Royal Society Open Science, 4(11). https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.171120

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