Hydrological characterization of the Usumacinta River Basin towards the preservation of environmental services
- 1Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM), Lab. Geomática Aplicada a Recursos Naturales, Dep. de Hidrobiología,Mexico D.F.
- 2Centro de Investigación en Geografía y Geomática (Centrogeo) México D.F.
- 3Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) México D.F.
Keywords: SSEB, kriging, Modis, Landsat, SIG integration
Abstract. The Usumacinta basin is characterized by aboundance of natural and scenic resources. It also houses a vast biodiversity (wich also means invaluable genetic resources). Its river is the longest in Mexico (main channel length of 927 km). Therefore it is one of the most productive regions of the country in terms of ecosystem services (such as habitat for biodiversity, maintenance of wetlands, water flows generation, carbon sequestration, soil retention, etc.) that are directly related to the hydrological functioning. During the last centuries, human activities on the Usumacinta basin have drastically changed its geomorphology and vegetation cover. As a result the hydrological cycle has been greatly modified. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct studies in order to support planning activities and implementation of public policies, as well as, to generate a permanent scientific ecosystem monitoring system.
This paper presents the results of a study focused on estimating the water balance of this frontier basin. Satellite and field data is used. Variables as vegetation cover (generated by classification of Landsat and MODIS), digital terrain model (SRTM), surface temperature (MODIS), potential evaporation, precipitation and runoff measurements were processed. Various techniques of Remote Sensing, geospatial models (as SSEB and the model for definition of surface hydrological connectivity) and spatial analysis (geostatistics and map algebra) were implemented. The results were integrated into the environment of a Geographic Information System. These are estimates of actual evapotranspiration, soil moisture and runoff, among other biophysical parameters. For the lower part of the basin a balance was performed to estimate inputs of water from runoff and precipitation to the large amount of wetlands in the area. Additionally, areas generating runoff and areas in which most of the precipitaion infiltrates were also mapped. The geo-information obtained is requiered for purposes of planning and land management.