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Hanna Ekström

Hanna Ekström

Doctoral student

Hanna Ekström

Root system estimation based on satellite remote sensing : An applied study in Eastern Uganda


  • Petter Pilesjö
  • Malin Ahlbäck
  • Maya Ahlgren
  • Hanna Ekström
  • Malin Hansson
  • Iris Mužić
  • Nike Rosenström
  • Franziska Weichert


  • Ali Mansourian
  • Petter Pilesjö
  • Lars Harrie
  • Ron van Lammeren

Summary, in English

The density of roots is an important factor influencing the rate and magnitude of landslides. Due to the increased variability in climate, mainly rainfall, Eastern Uganda is severely struck by an increasing number of these mass movements, often with human casualties as one of the negative impacts. The aim of this study is to explore the possibility to estimate the depth and density of the root system influencing the resistance to landslides, from satellite remote sensing data. 104 samples were collected in field, where the root system was classified into 5 different classes, from non-existing to dense and deep (forest). The study was carried out in the Mount Elgon area located at the Ugandan-Kenyan border. The field data were then compared with 30 m Landsat TM data, in order to investigate possible links between reflectance (single bands as well as indices) and ground truth data. The results indicate that, following this methodology, it is not possible to estimate the root system density based on the remotely sensed data, since the maximum Cohen’s kappa value of 0.081 is judged deficient.


  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • Centre for Geographical Information Systems (GIS Centre)
  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Geospatial Technologies for All : short papers, posters and poster abstracts of the 21th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science. Lund University 12-15 June 2018, Lund, Sweden

Document type

Conference paper


Association of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe


  • Remote Sensing


  • Landslides
  • Remote sensing
  • Uganda
  • Root system density
  • NDVI
  • EVI

Conference name

21st AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, 2018

Conference date

2018-06-12 - 2018-06-15

Conference place

Lund, Sweden