Геопространственная информация в поддержку устойчивых продовольственных систем

A rapid geospatial assessment of impacts from La Soufrière’s volcanic eruption on infrastructure and cultivated land

La Soufriere volcano started erupting on the 9th of April 2021. Explosions and accompanying ashfall are occurring since then at various magnitude and intervals. This event poses serious challenges for the people as well as natural resources and infrastructure. A rapid geospatial assessment was carried out by using Sentinel-1 and 2 data on FAO’s cloud computing platform SEPAL and Google’s Earth Engine to identify the damages on infrastructure and cultivated land as a result of the volcanic eruption.

Sentinel-1’s radar data is effective for detecting severe damages on urban infrastructure, independent of cloud cover as well as day- and night-time, using a so-called Coherent Change Detection (CCD) type of algorithm.  Sentinel 2 optical images were used together with a 2018 land cover map to assess damages on vegetation in pasture, cultivated land, as well as herbaceous and woody agriculture (e.g. cacao, coconut, banana).

The results provide both, locations of severe urban damages, mostly located along the north-eastern and north-western coastline of the region, as well as the impacts on cultivated lands, mostly located within the Charlotte and Saint David Parishes. In total around 3,000 hectares of cultivated land have been severely affected. This rapid geospatial assessment provides detailed information about the geospatial location of impacted areas.