Senegal River Delta

Seasonal changes in the Senegal River Delta are illustrated by Landsat images acquired and processed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The region has been suffering from an extended drought. The July 2010 image shows the region during a dry period. The September image shows major inundation of the delta after significant late summer rains upstream.

Regional governments have taken broad measures to regulate the river flow. Upstream dams have lessened the impact of the rainy season on delta flooding. The dams have also provided hydroelectric power to the area.

On the other hand, the control of stream flow has led to a significant change in water quality and the environment. Water from the Atlantic Ocean, previously pushed by the significant river flow, now backs up and has created increased salinity and brackishness. Populations have seen an increase in water borne diseases as pools of water are less susceptible to recharge. Also, a vital route for upstream navigation for carrying goods to the ocean has been affected. 

Regional governments and the United Nations use the Landsat images to monitor water coverage and the balance of repercussions of changes to the historic nature of seasonal river flows.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010