Zahrah Musa

PhD fellow


Zahrah N. Musa, graduated with a bachelor of engineering degree (B.ENG) in Electronics/Elecrotronics Engineering. An extensive curriculum in electromagnetic waves during the bachelors enabled her to pursue her interest  in Remote Sensing/GIS as a PgD. As part of her work as a scientific officer with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA), she undertakes digital image processing of satellite imagery and has been involved in projects ranging from urban growth analysis to hazards and disaster analysis for environmental management. The interest in space sciences led to an MSc in Space Studies increasing her knowldge base in earth observation and satellite technology. As a recent MSc graduate of Hydro-informatics, she is combining her facination for space technology applications in earth observation with modelling and information technology to undertake a PhD research on the topic 'Living with Sea level Rise on a subsiding delta: using satellite data and information as tools to develop adaptation and mitigation options for the Niger delta'.

Zahrah Musa graduated on 6 April 2018. Read more here.


Living with sea level rise on a subsiding delta:combining impact assessments to develop mitigation and adaptation options for the Niger delta

Research Summary

The applications of space technology for assessing impacts of climate change have brought about novel ideas about data acquisition, use and dissemination within the scientific community. Satellite altimetry data revolutionized research and information availability on sea level rise by showing the accelerated rise within the period of coverage; it is now used for sea surface topography, sea level and river stage measurements of large rivers like the Amazon (Papa et al 2012). Hydrodynamic modelling is based primarily on availability of elevation data used as DEMs, and most of the accessible ones are satellite based data; either as GPS point data or radar imagery like SRTM. The advent of satellite remote sensing made it possible for large /remote areas to be imaged opening up a new path for global studies to be undertaken.Consequently,  many studies can be found in literature that use satellite data for vulnerability to sea level rise assessment (Rahman et al 2011., Martin et al 2011., Maria S. et al 2007., Mahendra et al 2007., Dwarakrish et al 2009., Yin J. et al 2012., Kumar T. et al 2012). Less common but also exploited in recent times is the use of satellite data for estimation of discharge and water levels in rivers (e.g. Woldemicheal et al 2010, Hirpa et al 2013), to obtain accuracies ranging from 1.3-2.3% of actual measured values, which for un-gauged catchments is quite useful. The Niger basin is such an un-gauged catchment with just a few flow gauges available within the >4000km river and none is sited within the Niger delta, therefore the applications of satellite data will help in filling the gap and allow for useful information extraction. 

The method proposed will be based on applications of space technology in coastal zone management (in the form of remotely sensed data, navigation data, satellite interferometer data and derived satellite based information).  The approach is based on the concept of 'Integrated systems modelling of impacts of SLR', thus the impacts of SLR on surface water, groundwater, land and oil spills will be modelled. The modelling includes 1D, 1D/2D hydrodynamic modelling , 3D density modelling, and integrated coastal system modelling  (morphodynamics, the D-particle tracking, hydrodynamics). Model outputs will be used to calculate costs and develop adaptation and mitigation options for the Niger Delta.


Publications from Zahrah can be viewed from this link:

Other information

Ms Zahrah Musa graduated on 6 April 2018.


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