The human presence close to streams and rivers is known to have consistently increased worldwide, therefore introducing dramatic anthropogenic and environmental changes. However, a spatio-temporal detailed analysis is missing to date. In this paper, we propose a novel method to quantify the temporal evolution and the spatial distribution of the anthropogenic presence along streams and rivers and in their immediate proximity at the lobal scale and at a high-spatial resolution (i.e., nearly 1 km at the equator). We use satellite images of nocturnal lights, available as yearly snapshots from 1992 to 2013, and identify five distinct distance classes from the river network position. Our results show a temporal enhancement of human presence across the considered distance classes. In particular, we observed a higher human concentration in the vicinity of the river network, even though the frequency distribution of human beings in space has not significantly changed in the last two decades. Our results prove that fine-scale remotely sensed data, as nightlights, may provide new perspectives in water science, improving our understanding of the human impact on water resources and water-related environments

Human-impacted waters: New perspectives from global high-resolution monitoring

CEOLA, SERENA;MONTANARI, ALBERTO
2015

Abstract

The human presence close to streams and rivers is known to have consistently increased worldwide, therefore introducing dramatic anthropogenic and environmental changes. However, a spatio-temporal detailed analysis is missing to date. In this paper, we propose a novel method to quantify the temporal evolution and the spatial distribution of the anthropogenic presence along streams and rivers and in their immediate proximity at the lobal scale and at a high-spatial resolution (i.e., nearly 1 km at the equator). We use satellite images of nocturnal lights, available as yearly snapshots from 1992 to 2013, and identify five distinct distance classes from the river network position. Our results show a temporal enhancement of human presence across the considered distance classes. In particular, we observed a higher human concentration in the vicinity of the river network, even though the frequency distribution of human beings in space has not significantly changed in the last two decades. Our results prove that fine-scale remotely sensed data, as nightlights, may provide new perspectives in water science, improving our understanding of the human impact on water resources and water-related environments
WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH
Ceola Serena; Laio Francesco; Montanari Alberto
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/525621
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