Development and Validation of Remote Sensing-Based Surface Inundation Products for Vector-Borne Disease Risk in East Africa

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Katherine Jensen1,2, Kyle C McDonald2, Pietro Ceccato3, Ronny Schroeder2 and Erika Podest4, (1)CUNY Graduate School and University Center, Earth and Environmental Sciences, New York, NY, United States, (2)CCNY-Earth & Atmos Sciences, New York, NY, United States, (3)International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, Palisades, NY, United States, (4)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States
The potential impact of climate variability and change on the spread of infectious disease is of increasingly critical concern to public health. Newly-available remote sensing datasets may be combined with predictive modeling to develop new capabilities to mitigate risks of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis, and rift valley fever. We have developed improved remote sensing-based products for monitoring water bodies and inundation dynamics that have potential utility for improving risk forecasts of vector-borne disease epidemics. These products include daily and seasonal surface inundation based on the global mappings of inundated area fraction derived at the 25-km scale from active and passive microwave instruments ERS, QuikSCAT, ASCAT, and SSM/I data – the Satellite Water Microwave Product Series (SWAMPS). Focusing on the East African region, we present validation of this product using multi-temporal classification of inundated areas in this region derived from high resolution PALSAR (100m) and Landsat (30m) observations. We assess historical occurrence of malaria in the east African country of Eritrea with respect to the time series SWAMPS datasets, and we aim to construct a framework for use of these new datasets to improve prediction of future malaria risk in this region.

This work is supported through funding from the NASA Applied Sciences Program, the NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program, and the NASA Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) Program. This study is also supported and monitored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under Grant - CREST Grant # NA11SEC4810004. The statements contained within the manuscript/research article are not the opinions of the funding agency or the U.S. government, but reflect the authors' opinions. This work was conducted in part under the framework of the ALOS Kyoto and Carbon Initiative. ALOS PALSAR data were provided by JAXA EORC.