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Linköping University (2006)

Land Cover Change in the Okavango River Basin : Historical changes during the Angolan civil war, contributing causes and effects on water quality

Andersson, Jafet

Titre : Land Cover Change in the Okavango River Basin : Historical changes during the Angolan civil war, contributing causes and effects on water quality

Auteur : Andersson, Jafet

Université de soutenance : Linköping University

Grade : Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister) 2006

Résumé partiel
The Okavango river flows from southern Angola, through the Kavango region of Namibia and into the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The recent peace in Angola hopefully marks the end of the intense suffering that the peoples of the river basin have endured, and the beginning of sustainable decision-making in the area. Informed decision-making however requires knowledge ; and there is a need for, and a lack of knowledge regarding basin-wide land cover (LC) changes, and their causes, during the Angolan civil war in the basin. Furthermore, there is a need for, and a lack of knowledge on how expanding large-scale agriculture and urban growth along the Angola-Namibia border affects the water quality of the river.
The aim of this study was therefore to develop a remote sensing method applicable to the basin (with scant ground-truth data availability) to carry out a systematic historic study of LC changes during the Angolan civil war, to apply the method to the basin, to relate these changes to major societal trends in the region, and to analyse potential impacts of expanding large-scale agriculture and urban growth on the water quality of the river along the Angola-Namibia border.
A range of remote sensing methods to study historic LC changes in the basin were tried and evaluated against reference data collected during a field visit in Namibia in October 2005. Eventually, two methods were selected and applied to pre-processed Landsat MSS and ETM+ satellite image mosaics of 1973 and 2001 respectively : 1. a combined unsupervised classification and pattern-recognition change detection method providing quantified and geographically distributed binary LC class change trajectory information and, 2. an NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) change detection method providing quantified and geographically distributed continuous information on degrees of change in vegetation vigour. In addition, available documents and people initiated in the basin conditions were consulted in the pursuit of discerning major societal trends that the basin had undergone during the Angolan civil war. Finally, concentrations of nutrients (total phosphorous & total nitrogen), bacteria (faecal coliforms & faecal streptococci), conductivity, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature and Secchi depth were sampled at 11 locations upstream and downstream of large-scale agricultural facilities and an urban area during the aforementioned field visit.

Mots clés : Okavango, land cover change, Angolan civil war, unsupervised classification, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), binary change, degree of change, water quality, agriculture

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Page publiée le 14 octobre 2012, mise à jour le 29 avril 2020