Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 2

Risk Mapping Related Abstracts

2 Risks for Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms in Georgia Piedmont Waterbodies Due to Land Management and Climate Interactions

Authors: Sam Weber, Deepak Mishra, Susan Wilde, Elizabeth Kramer


The frequency and severity of cyanobacteria harmful blooms (CyanoHABs) have been increasing over time, with point and non-point source eutrophication and shifting climate paradigms being blamed as the primary culprits. Excessive nutrients, warm temperatures, quiescent water, and heavy and less regular rainfall create more conducive environments for CyanoHABs. CyanoHABs have the potential to produce a spectrum of toxins that cause gastrointestinal stress, organ failure, and even death in humans and animals. To promote enhanced, proactive CyanoHAB management, risk modeling using geospatial tools can act as predictive mechanisms to supplement current CyanoHAB monitoring, management and mitigation efforts. The risk maps would empower water managers to focus their efforts on high risk water bodies in an attempt to prevent CyanoHABs before they occur, and/or more diligently observe those waterbodies. For this research, exploratory spatial data analysis techniques were used to identify the strongest predicators for CyanoHAB blooms based on remote sensing-derived cyanobacteria cell density values for 771 waterbodies in the Georgia Piedmont and landscape characteristics of their watersheds. In-situ datasets for cyanobacteria cell density, nutrients, temperature, and rainfall patterns are not widely available, so free gridded geospatial datasets were used as proxy variables for assessing CyanoHAB risk. For example, the percent of a watershed that is agriculture was used as a proxy for nutrient loading, and the summer precipitation within a watershed was used as a proxy for water quiescence. Cyanobacteria cell density values were calculated using atmospherically corrected images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A satellite and multispectral instrument sensor at a 10-meter ground resolution. Seventeen explanatory variables were calculated for each watershed utilizing the multi-petabyte geospatial catalogs available within the Google Earth Engine cloud computing interface. The seventeen variables were then used in a multiple linear regression model, and the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density were selected for the final regression model. The seventeen explanatory variables included land cover composition, winter and summer temperature and precipitation data, topographic derivatives, vegetation index anomalies, and soil characteristics. Watershed maximum summer temperature, percent agriculture, percent forest, percent impervious, and waterbody area emerged as the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density with an adjusted R-squared value of 0.31 and a p-value ~ 0. The final regression equation was used to make a normalized cyanobacteria cell density index, and a Jenks Natural Break classification was used to assign waterbodies designations of low, medium, or high risk. Of the 771 waterbodies, 24.38% were low risk, 37.35% were medium risk, and 38.26% were high risk. This study showed that there are significant relationships between free geospatial datasets representing summer maximum temperatures, nutrient loading associated with land use and land cover, and the area of a waterbody with cyanobacteria cell density. This data analytics approach to CyanoHAB risk assessment corroborated the literature-established environmental triggers for CyanoHABs, and presents a novel approach for CyanoHAB risk mapping in waterbodies across the greater southeastern United States.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Cyanobacteria, Risk Mapping, land use/land cover

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1 Risk Mapping of Road Traffic Incidents in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area for Planning of Emergency Medical Services

Authors: Joseph Kimuli Balikuddembe


Road traffic incidents (RTIs) continue to be a serious public health and development burden around the globe. Compared to high-income countries (HICs), the low and middle-income countries (LMICs) bear the heaviest brunt of RTIs. Like other LMICs, Uganda, a country located in Eastern Africa, has been experiencing a worryingly high burden of RTIs and their associated impacts. Over the years, the highest number of all the total registered RTIs in Uganda has taken place in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA). This places a tremendous demand on the few existing emergency medical services (EMS) to adequately respond to those affected. In this regard, the overall objective of the study was to risk map RTIs in the GKMA so as to help in the better planning of EMS for the victims of RTIs. Other objectives included: (i) identifying the factors affecting the exposure, vulnerability and EMS capacity for the victims of RTIs; (ii) identifying the RTI prone-areas and estimating their associated risk factors; (iii) identifying the weaknesses and capacities which affect the EMS systems for RTIs; and (iv) determining the strategies and priority actions that can help to improve the EMS response for RTI victims in the GKMA. To achieve these objectives, a mixed methodological approach was used in four phrases for approximately 15 months. It employed a systematic review based on the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-data analysis guidelines; a Delphi panel technique; retrospective data analysis; and a cross-sectional method. With Uganda progressing forward as envisaged in its 'Vision 2040', the GKMA, which is the country’s political and socioeconomic epicenter, is experiencing significant changes in terms of population growth, urbanization, infrastructure development, rapid motorization and other factors. Unless appropriate actions are taken, these changes are likely to worsen the already alarming rate of RTIs in Uganda, and in turn also to put pressure on the few existing EMS and facilities to render care for those affected. Therefore, road safety vis-à-vis injury prevention measures, which are needed to reduce the burden of RTIs, should be multifaceted in nature so that they closely correlate with the ongoing dynamics that contribute to RTIs, particularly in the GKMA and Uganda as a whole.

Keywords: Risk Mapping, emergency medical services, Kampala, road traffic incidents

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