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Project: Monitoring the WaterHyacinth Using ASTER Imagery

Acronym: MAPINVPLANTS
Main Objective: This proposal corresponds to the participation of the “Instituto de Telecomunicações” in the project entitled “Monitoring the Water Hyacinth Using ASTER Imagery” (MAPINVPLANTS) approved in the framework of the program ERANETMED, call JCWATER2014.

The ensuing text is, in part, adapted from the original proposal.

With the objective of taking a step forward in the control and management of aquatic weeds in the Nile River and surrounding coastal lakes, our goal is to develop an efficient method and a software prototype to map and monitor aquatic weeds. This software will allow to identify the location of the aquatic weeds, changes of density, and spreading rates. The availability of such information will have great impact on the identification of efficient methods to control, manage, and eradicate the aquatic weeds, such as the waterhyacinth in the Nile River.

Invasions of aquatic weeds have caused significant problems in many lakes and river systems worldwide. Aquatic weeds usually
grow naturally and abundantly into fresh waters and flood plain habitats. They seriously decrease biodiversity, threaten natural environment, alter nutrient cycles, and worsen water quality. In Egypt, more than 80% of the canals and the drains are heavily
infested with aquatic weeds [2]. Effective management of aquatic weeds requires appropriate control methods that include chemical, mechanical, and biological techniques. Detection and mapping the extent of rapidly spreading invasive populations are critical for identifying the weeds control priorities, including eradication efforts.

The main objective of this project is to develop an efficient software prototype, using remote sensing techniques, to map and monitor the change of dense aquatic weeds in rivers and lake systems. More precisely, we will develop efficient analysis methods for low cost multispectral satellite images, such as ASTER images, for the detection of the waterhyacinth in the Nile River in Delta of Egypt, chosen as a case study.

The output of this project will revive the previous efforts that have been done by Mariout and Edku [16] to control waterhyacinth growth in Nile River using biological methods. Further biological control research will be enabled for ecologists as time series, hyperspectral images, and updated maps will be available, with reasonable cost. It is worth to mention that, compared with chemicalbased techniques, biological ones are more efficient and less expensive, while being less harmful to the environment [1]. In addition, the detailed maps provided by the project will play a crucial role in the effective eradication of the waterhyacinth in the Nile River.

Reference: ERANETMED/0001/2014
Funding: FCT
Start Date: 01-10-2016
End Date: 01-09-2018
Team: José Manuel Bioucas Dias
Groups: Pattern and Image Analysis – Lx
Partners:
Local Coordinator: José Manuel Bioucas Dias
Associated Publications