Analysis of Mt Kenya Glaciers Recession Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Purity Njeri Mwaniki
2018 American Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering  
This research analyses the changes in coverage Mt Kenya glaciers in a bid find what has been causing the retreat of these glaciers. Optical Landsat data for 1984 to 2017 and Climatic data of the same years were used. Glaciers and forest coverage were extracted from Landsat images and its thermal band was used to extract temperature data. Correlation with the respective year's climatic data and forest cover area were done to justify the assumption that the shrinkage in the glaciers coverage has
more » ... ciers coverage has been caused by changes in climate and/or deforestation. Then using the historical EC Earth model climate data predictions for 1984-2017 and historical observed data for the same years, bias correction factors were computed and used to correct the future model data for the years (2018-2045). Since the data was extracted for only four points around Mt Kenya, Interpolation was then done to obtain the Precipitation and Temperature for the mountain peak (since the glaciers are found at the peak) using the IDW technique. Prediction of glacier area coverage was then done using these interpolated climate data. In order to predict the future glacier cover, linear equations of the form y = a 1 x 1 + a 2 x 2 +b o of the interpolated climate data (for 2018-2045) and computed glacier areas for were formed. The a 1 a 2 and b o in the equation are constants obtained from SPSS (a statistical software). X1 and x2 are the predicted Temperature and Precipitation respectively. Predictions were done for RCP scenarios 8.5 and 4.5. The results of prediction showed that the current trend of glacier thinning is going to continue but at a slower rate compared to the rapid melting that was observed for the period 1984-2017. However, Mt Kenya glaciers are likely to have completely disappeared by the year 2100.
doi:10.11648/j.ajese.20180201.11 fatcat:inbkx4cxwvfjxfdb4dgdhe6bzu