Testing two methods for mapping water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in the Greater Letaba river system, South Africa: Discrimination and mapping potential of the polar-orbiting Sentinel-2 MSI and Landsat 8 OLI sensors
Thamaga, Kgabo Humphrey
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Early detection and mapping of the spatio-temporal distribution of invasive water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in inland hydrological systems are vital for a number of water resource managementrelated reasons. Field surveys and current climate change projections (associated with longer dry spells, and shortened rain seasons) have shown that climate change and the rapid spread of aquatic invasive species are increasingly affecting inland surface water availability in semi-arid regions of Southern Africa. It is upon this premise that accurate, reliable, and timely information on the spatio-temporal distribution and configuration of water hyacinth is required in tracing their evolution and propagation in affected areas as well as in potential vulnerable areas. This work, therefore, attempts to test two robust push-broom multispectral sensors: Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) in identifying, detecting, and mapping the spatial distribution and configuration of invasive water hyacinth in a river system. The results of the study show that water hyacinth in small reservoirs can be mapped with an overall accuracy of 68.44% and 77.56% using Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 data, respectively.