3B.2 Soil Moisture and Droughts in Africa

Friday, 13 November 2009: 8:55 AM
Gilbert Fahnbulleh, NOAA/CREST, New York, NY

Using precipitations estimates derived from CMORPH, the soil moisture from East, West, North and South Africa to determine droughts in some of the countries in the various regions. Method used in remote sensing to measure hydrological and agricultural droughts is Microwave because it provides quantitative measurements of thermal mixture of soil and soil water mixture. Based on the data of these calculations, the expected value of soil moisture must be over the 25(mm) in fluctuating patterns as expected during the rainy and dry seasons. Our data indicates that during the rainy seasons, the tropical zones experience higher rainfalls and soil moisture is at its peak. We also noticed that during the dry season, the soil moisture levels drastically decline below the average value. However, for some regions in Africa , this pattern doe not hold to be consistent. For Northern and Eastern Africa , the soil moisture level is below the expected mark regardless of the time of year (seasons). In this case, if this pattern shows a severe decline in soil moisture for a significant period of time, then we are to conclude that that particular region is undergoing water stress and a drought is viable. We study the impacts these effects have on the Africa population. This includes social, environmental and economical. Matlab was used to perform calculations, where we plotted the values for countries within the same regions, and created codes for each country. The data acquired ranges from January 2003 to July 2009, so our results are up to date with the current statistics available from similar sources. The study was produced by the City College of New York (CCNY) and commissioned by the National Science foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrative-Cooperation Remote Sciences and Technology Center (NOAA-CREST).
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