Blue Nile Hydrosolidarity

Understanding Land Use/Cover Change and its Linkage to Hydrology, Soil Degradation and Climate Variability

PhD research project by Ermias Teferi


The Choke Mountain range is endowed with a number of natural resources such as fresh water, fertile soils, wildlife and a large number of natural vegetation species. Over decades, there have been a number of pressures on natural resources due to increased human demand associated with the development and increased population. The consequence of this increased demand is the degradation of natural resources if used in unsustainable manner. However, understanding all effects of land use/cover changes on the degradation of natural resources particularly soils and water is crucial in the planning of sustainable management of natural resources.

The objective of this research is to analyze land use and land cover changes and its impacts. Particular emphasis will be given on the investigation on land degradation, hydrological and climate change implications in the Upper Blue Nile River basin, in the Ethiopian highlands (i.e. Choke Mountain Range) by using Remote Sensing and GIS for the period 1957- 2009. Among other sources of information, aerial photographs of the year 1957, LANDSAT images 1973 (MSS), 1986 (TM) and 2009 (TM) will be used for the analysis over the period considered. Experimental investigations include the investigation of the combined system of the atmosphere, land use and soil water using remote sensing data and field observations (meteorological parameters, soil water measurements etc.).

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Ermias Teferi, Woldeamlak Bewket, Jochen Wenninger, Stefan Uhlenbrook (2013). Understanding recent land use and land cover dynamics in the source region of the Upper Blue Nile, Ethiopia: Spatially explicit statistical modeling of systematic transitions. Agriculture Ecosystem & Environment 165, 98 – 117.
  • T. Gebretsadkan, Y.A. Mohamed, G.D. Betrie, P. van der Zaag, Ermias Teferi (2013).Trend Analysis of Runoff and Sediment Fluxes in the Upper Blue Nile Basin: A Comparative Analysis of Statistical, Physically-based Model, and Land use maps. Journal of Hydrology 482, 57-68.
  • Ermias Teferi, Stefan Uhlenbrook, Woldeamlak Bewket, Jochen Wenninger and Belay Simane (2010). The use of remote sensing to quantify wetland loss in the Choke Mountain range, Upper Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 14: 2415-2428.
  • Woldeamlak Bewket and Ermias Teferi (2009). Assessment of soil erosion hazard and prioritization for treatment at the watershed level: case study in the Chemoga watershed, Blue Nile basin, Ethiopia. Land Degradation & Development. 20: 609-622.

Articles in Proceedings