During the first quarter of 2015, Dr. Bargaoui and her team collected data for modelling the Douimis and Beja watersheds. Utilizing GIS information, soil texture, soil occupation, geology, average basin hydraulic conductivity at saturation, average porosity, and field capacity were measured as they are required by the water balance BBH model. Aymen Ben Jaafar (PhD student) performed the calibration at Douimis watershed which, along with the Beja basin, was added to the six originally proposed areas of study.
The modelling of Oussafa basin (a Wadi Siliana sub-basin) using BBH was completed by team member Manoubia Zamouri, who finalized and presented her Master's thesis during this period. Another PhD student, Nesrine Abid, finalized the BBH model calibration for the Joumine and Sejnane basins and this work, along with her modeling, has been accepted as an oral presentation at IUGG 2015
. The research team also acquired climatic and soil monitoring sensors to implement an intelligent system composed of wireless sensors that measure environmental data linked to drought indicators. PhD student Fantazi Walid from the Telecom Laboratory at ENIT will use this equipment to set up a spatiotemporal database that interfaces with a web mapping application to constantly monitor and display the data.
The team now has 25 years of model predictions of evapotranspiration and soil moisture content to compute drought indices. This work was presented as a Poster at the IRTG 2015
conference. Additionally, team member Saoussen Dhib, along with an ITC team from the Netherlands, performed two correction procedures to TRMM-3B42 images using 78 heavy rainy events observed in northern Tunisia from January 2007 to August 2009. This work will enable the African Drought Monitor team to evaluate and test the satellite data method they adopt.
In the coming months, the team will estimate the actual amount of evapotranspiration using the calibrated BBH models for the Joumine and Sejnane basins. The team will also calibrate the BBH models for the Abid and Barbara basins and write a tutorial about drought indicators based on Evapotranspiration and soil moisture content using the BBH model. Dr. Bargaoui also plans exchange visits with Princeton University and will organize a local workshop on her group's work.