Analysis of the Relationship between Wildfire Occurrences and Population Trend within the Shores of Lake Chad Basin Using Geoinformation

A. Dami, H. K. Ayuba, M. Bila


The study focuses and examines the relationship that exists between wildfire occurrence and the population trend within the shore of the Lake Chad. Geospatial analysis of fire pixel counts from MODIS images of the period 2001 – 2009 was performed to determine the relationship between the wildfire occurrences and the population trend. The interpretation of SPOT panchromatic imagery in combination with field survey provided perimeters of settlements and estimated population in the area with the highest fire density in the north basin of Lake Chad. Major findings shows that the distribution of wildfires on the floor of Lake Chad for the period 2001-2009 reflected a spatial relationship with the distribution of vegetation and a temporal relationship with the seasonality of human-ecosystem interactions. The total number of fires recorded on the Lake floor is 25,690 leading to a burnt area of 19,274 km2. The population trend however, is increasing while that of wildfire occurrences is decreasing. The increasing trend in population against a decreasing trend in wildfire occurrences is an indication of the gradual conversion of the wild habitat between the old and the new shorelines of Lake Chad through human-ecosystem interactions from wild land to human occupation and exploitation.

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Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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