Predicting the impacts of fishing canals on Floodplain Dynamics in Northern Cameroon using a small-scale sub-grid hydraulic model

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Apoorva R Shastry1, Michael T Durand1, Alfonso Fernandez2, Ian Hamilton3, Saidou Kari4, Bruno Labara4, Sarah Laborde5, Bryan G Mark2, Mark Moritz5, Jeffrey C Neal6 and Sui Chian Phang3, (1)Ohio St Univ-Earth Sciences, Columbus, OH, United States, (2)Ohio State University Main Campus, Columbus, OH, United States, (3)Ohio State University, Evolution Ecology and Organismal Biology, Columbus, OH, United States, (4)Center for Support to Research and Pastoralism, Maroua, Cameroon, (5)Ohio State University, Anthropology, Columbus, OH, United States, (6)University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Modeling Regime Shifts in the Logone floodplain (MORSL) is an ongoing interdisciplinary project at The Ohio State University studying the ecological, social and hydrological system of the region. This floodplain, located in Northern Cameroon, is part of the Lake Chad basin. Between September and October the floodplain is inundated by the overbank flow from the Logone River, which is important for agriculture and fishing. Fishermen build canals to catch fish during the flood’s recession to the river by installing fishnets at the intersection of the canals and the river. Fishing canals thus connect the river to natural depressions of the terrain, which act as seasonal ponds during this part of the year. Annual increase in the number of canals affect hydraulics and hence fishing in the region. In this study, the Bara region (1 km2) of the Logone floodplain, through which Lorome Mazra flows, is modeled using LISFLOOD-FP, a raster-based model with sub-grid parameterizations of canals. The aim of the study is to find out how the small-scale, local features like canals and fishnets govern the flow, so that it can be incorporated in a large-scale model of the floodplain at a coarser spatial resolution. We will also study the effect of increasing number of canals on the flooding pattern. We use a simplified version of the hydraulic system at a grid-cell size of 30-m, using synthetic topography, parameterized fishing canals, and representing fishnets as trash screens. The inflow at Bara is obtained from a separate, lower resolution (1-km grid-cell) model run, which is forced by daily discharge records obtained from Katoa, located about 25-km to the south of Bara. The model appropriately captures the rise and recession of the annual flood, supporting use of the LISFLOOD-FP approach. Predicted water levels at specific points in the river, the canals, the depression and the floodplain will be compared to field measured heights of flood recession in Bara, November 2014.