Application of GIS and remote sensing techniques in frost risk mapping for mitigating agricultural losses in the Aberdare ecosystem, Kenya
Onywere, S. M.
Kotikot, Susan Malaso
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Frost is a perennial agricultural hazard that normally causes crop damage leading to huge agricultural losses within the Kenyan highlands; aggravated by inadequate information on frost. This research mapped frost hotspots within the Aberdare and Mount Kenya regions and identified the extent of arable land under frost risk while establishing the trend of minimum temperature occurrences between the years 2000 and 2013. Minimum temperature values were extracted from daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer land surface temperature data-sets, and frost risk categorized into very severe frost (<250 K), severe frost (250–260 K), moderate frost (260–270 K), minor frost (270–280 K) and areas of no frost. Concentration of frost (<273 K) was mapped within regions above 1500 m asl and occasional occurrences within valleys lower than this altitude with recurrent occurrences in the months of April, May, July, August and November. Elevation, land surface convexity and humidity were found to influence frost occurrence. Improved agricultural practice to mitigate against losses is recommended.