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Analysis of Wildfire Occurrences within the Shores of Lake Chad using Geoinformation Technology

haruna K ayub, A Dami, Mohammed D Bila

Abstract


Geographic Information Technology provides an important tool in modeling ecosystem dynamics. One of the
drivers of ecosystem change in the Lake Chad Basin is wildfire. This paper examines the historical spatial
patterns of wildfires and employed a trend analysis using Geographic Information System (GIS) technique in
analyzing fire pixel counts from MODIS images of the period 2001–2009. The results revealed a declining
trend in wildfire occurrences and a non-linear relationship in the numbers of wildfire occurrences for the
period 2001–2009. This is due to the interplay of several factors such as human influence, winds, temperature
changes, and the type, extent and spread of vegetation. During the period under study, the total number of fires
recorded in the Lake floor is 25,690 with a burnt area of 19,274 km2. The highest number of fires occurred in
2001, with varying figures in subsequent years. The highest number of fires in 2001 may be connected to the
extent of flooding and the subsequent invasion by vegetal biomass on the Lake floor after the recession of
floods. The decline in wildfires is indicative of the fact that the biomass within the lake floor, which would
ordinarily have been burnt, is now being cleared to make way for farmlands. The declining trend in wildfires
on the lake floor of the Lake Chad Basin is seen as a good development for the basin.
Keywords: Wildfire trend, MODIS, Lake Chad Basin, Geographic Information System


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eISSN: 2230-7990