Assessment of India’s largest inland saline lake during the time frame of phase one COVID-19 pandemic using GEE platform

Author(s): Rajashree Naik
Email (s):
Institution or organization of origin: Central University of Rajasthan
Country: India


Saline lakes are unique in nature but highly ignored compared to their freshwater counterparts. They are in almost every continent including Antarctica. They are also considered as blue lifelines of arid and semi-arid regions. In forth coming decades, when land degradation is major concern, these inland saline wetlands are the prime solutions to the global issues. India is having world’s 10th largest desert holding four major inland saline lakes out of which Sambhar Salt Lake is the only ramsar and IBA site where the current study is conducted. The study is conducted in the reference to first phase COVID-19 lockdown time frame. The analysis years are 2019 (Pre COVID lock down), 2020 (COVID lock down) and 2021 (post COVID lock down) using the advanced cloud computation technology Google Earth Engine. Landsat satellite images were cloud mosaiced, Soil Salinity index and Surface Algal Bloom index were calculated, and the final generated spatial results were download and map composed in Arc GIS software. The result state that algal value ranges from -0.432 to 0.555 in 2019, 0.136 to 0.696 in 202 and 0.020 to 1.094 in 2021. The values of salinity index state -0.076 to 0.740 in 2019, -0.459 to 0.20 in 2020 and 0.012 to 0.261 in 2021. The results clearly state the dubious state of its existence due to ongoing illegal saltpan encroachment and extensive ground water extraction. The final part of the paper suggests some restoration strategies in the light of UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

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