My research project
Mapping historical hydrological changes in the lake Poopó catchment, Bolivia, with remote sensing
Lake Poopó, in the Andean Mountain range, has sustained local fauna, livestock and fishing activities of local communities for millennia. The lake is located at the bottom of an endorheic catchment where mining and crop activities have experienced a significant expansion in the last fifteen years. Several authors have reported a decline of the water storage in the lake during the last decade and highlighted different pressures affecting its water balance: diversion of water for mining and irrigation, the retreat of Andean glaciers, the droughts induced by El Niño event, etc.
As part of my PhD in the Civil Engineering Dep. of the University of Surrey, in collaboration with the Universidad Tecnica de Oruro and the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Bolivia, we are using long time series of satellite data to reconstruct spatial and temporal changes in vegetation, evapotranspiration water losses and precipitation over the Lake Poopó catchment, to explore their links to the lake decline.