Tropical Wetland (TropWet) Mapping Tool: The Automatic Detection of Open and Vegetated Waterbodies in Google Earth Engine for Tropical Wetlands

Andy Hardy, Gregory Oakes, Georgina Ettritch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (SciVal)
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Abstract

Knowledge of the location and extent of surface water and inundated vegetation is vital for a range of applications including flood risk management, biodiversity monitoring, quantifying greenhouse gas emissions, and mapping water-borne disease risk. Here, we present a new tool, TropWet, which enables users of all abilities to map wetlands in herbaceous dominated regions based on simple unmixing of optical Landsat satellite imagery in the Google Earth Engine. The results demonstrate transferability throughout the African continent with a high degree of accuracy (mean 91% accuracy, st. dev 2.6%, n = 10,800). TropWet demonstrated considerable improvements over existing globally available surface water datasets for mapping the extent of important wetlands like the Okavango, Botswana. TropWet was able to provide frequency inundation maps as an indicator of malarial mosquito aquatic habitat extent and persistence in Barotseland, Zambia. TropWet was able to map flood extent comparable to operational flood risk mapping products in the Zambezi Region, Namibia. Finally, TropWet was able to quantify the effects of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events on the extent of photosynthetic vegetation and wetland extent across Southern Africa. These examples demonstrate the potential for TropWet to provide policy makers with crucial information to help make national, regional, or continental scale decisions regarding wetland conservation, flood/disease hazard mapping, or mitigation against the impacts of ENSO.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1182
Number of pages24
JournalRemote Sensing
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • wetlands
  • Google Earth Engine
  • flooding
  • Africa
  • spectral unmixing
  • Landsat
  • malaria
  • Malaria
  • Spectral unmixing
  • Flooding
  • Wetlands

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