Detection of vegetation changes using Landsat 7 NDVI:

Nyando River Basin Kenya, East Africa


Kari Gerwin

University of Toledo

Department of Geography and Planning




Upon noticing the massive sediment loading into Lake Victoriaís Winam Gulf, the Nyando River Basin, which drains into the gulf, was selected as a remote sensing study area. Much of the basin has a history of deforestation for fuel wood, mining, grazing and agriculture as well as other land-degrading practices. The purpose of this research was to use NDVI to identify areas that show the most severe loss of vegetation to find possible sources of erosion and sediment loading in the Winam Gulf. Problems associated with vegetation loss and deforestation include loss of terrestrial habitat and loss of soil nutrients, resulting in nutrient enrichment of waterways and high algal growth. Vegetation changes on land effect littoral habitats by promoting erosion and filling littoral zones with fine and coarse sediments, thus altering habitats of littoral species. Socio-economic effects of vegetation loss and sediment loading are numerous. These include reduced agricultural and fishing capabilities. The World Agroforestry Center has identified the Nyando River basin as a main contributor of sediments to Lake Victoria.

Landsat TM, bands 2 ,3,4 Winam Gulf

Erosion from vegetation loss in Nyando Basin

Data Sources