Mosquito Habitat  Suitability Assessment

Mapping intermittent bodies of water to assess likely mosquito breeding grounds 

MDA has a long history of processing high volumes of satellite imagery for time series environmental assessments. We are applying this expertise to hundreds of thousands of Landsat images to map areas that become intermittent pools of water and saturated soils under wet conditions during rainy seasons, after storms, from snowmelt and other causes. This map serves as a general prediction of where standing pools of water may form and serve as mosquito habitats.

In conjunction with rain forecasts from our Weather Services Group, we can use our map of intermittent water bodies to predict up to ten days in advance where and when locations may become viable mosquito breeding grounds. This provides public health officials with advanced warning to implement procedures to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus, Malaria and Yellow Fever.

This region of northeastern Nigeria adjacent to Lake Chad contains both consistently wet/marshy areas (on the right) and a region of scattered intermittent pools of water or saturated soils (left). By processing stacks of Landsat imagery over time, we are able to locate these intermittent pools. With the addition of MDA’s expert weather predictions we can forecast up to ten days in advance when these pools may reappear and serve as mosquito breeding grounds.