Boom and bust water supplies in Southeast Australia—17 July 2016

Researchers at the Geospatial Analysis for Environmental change lab at The University of New South Wales have used more than a quarter-century of Landsat data to map the Murray-Darling Basin’s dramatically changing surface water. ARC Discovery Early Career researcher, Dr Mirela Tulbure, and colleagues, processed more than 25,000 Landsat images (covering a one million square kilometre area) to create their Surface Water Dynamic (SWD) data set, a comprehensive historical record of the basin’s surface water between 1986 and 2011. Thanks to this research, water managers now have a series of maps that show how the Millennium Drought and subsequent La Niña deluges affected surface water throughout the Murray-Darling Basin. “To be able to quantify where the water is, there needs to be a systematic quantification of surface water dynamics, which is only possible from satellite data in an automated manner,” explained colleague Mark Broich. “This is why our product is important to water and land managers.”

 Quantifying surface water and flooding dynamics from space

Media issued by the Geospatial Analysis for Environmental change lab at The University of New South Wales.

Image: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using data courtesy of Mirela Tulbure, UNSW Australia and the Geospatial Analysis for Environmental change lab.
Image courtesy: Geospatial Analysis for Environmental change lab, The University of New South Wales. Caption provided by Laura Rocchio with Mike Carlowicz.

 

Original Published Date: 
Sunday, July 17, 2016