Morocco-Tensift

Overview

Tensift, Morocco – The Haouz Plain

The semi-arid agricultural plain of the Haouz, in the Tensift Watershed in Morocco is the most important area in terms of potential water savings, and 85% of the mobilized water is used for irrigation. It includes traditional and modern irrigation, flood and drip irrigation, with water coming either from dams, river diversion or groundwater abstraction.  The vegetation is composed of tree plantations (mainly olive groves and oranges) and annual crops (cereals, market gardening) or multi (alfalfa) frequently grown in sub-stratum of trees. The extent and location of the annual crops vary from one year to another, depending on water availability. In the semi-arid agricultural plain, the challenge is to understand the functioning of water surfaces (mainly vertical water flow), in conjunction with plant production, following a series of questions of increasing complexity: Estimation of the actual evapotranspiration? Partition between soil evaporation and transpiration covered? Assessment of water needs of crops? Evaluation of volumes of irrigation water in discerning their origin? Evaluation of irrigation methods used?

Project Objectives

  • Crop identification and Crop Area Estimation: Landcover maps at medium scale resolution from NDVI time series using either a thresholding algorithm, or an off-the-shelf algorithm for supervised classifications.
  • Crop Condition/Stress: Methodological developments for the estimation and monitoring of surface states with multi-sensor, multi-spectral remote sensing of surfaces.
  • Evapotranspiration from infrared thermal and visible data (FAO-56, energy budget approach).
  • Soil Moisture: High resolution soil moisture, by disaggregation of SMOS satellite measurements based on thermal and visible data (Merlin et al., 2009, 2012, 2013).
  • Yield Prediction and Forecasting: A PhD thesis is working on the forecasting of wheat yield at the plot level using empirical relations. At the regional level, through statistical analysis of different types of optical and micro-wave remote sensing, combined with climate data, different dynamic prediction models of vegetation cover and cereal yields have been proposed (Jarlan et al. , 2013,  Mangiarotti et al., 2013)
  • Others: Two main research areas are considered. The first is to better understand the integrated hydrological functioning across the watershed and to develop tools (digital platform modeling fed by satellite and ground observation) to predict the evolution of resources. The first focus is developed with strong scientific dynamics around the following points: (1) Modeling and analysis of the functioning of the main water flow (recharging process water, surface flows and particularly evapotranspiration, energy balance of the snow cover). In this context, we compare various approaches of evapotranspiration estimates with the level of complexity and the application for irrigation management. (2) Integrated modeling including conceptual and mechanistic modeling. (3) Satellite data assimilation into surface models. The second area focuses on the regional dimension of the problem of environmental hydro resources in the Mediterranean, and the need to produce indicators at this level in particular exploiting the remote sensing data. This area is developed around the following: (1) Methodological developments for the estimation and monitoring of surface states with multi-sensor, multi-spectral remote sensing of surfaces and (2) the characterization of indicators for better understanding of hydrological functioning. The work deals with predictability and the modeling of inter-annual variability.

Project Objectives

Estimation of Biophysical Variables

Operational Implementation Plan

Biophysical Variables
  • Flux measurements

Forecasting Agricultural Variables

Operational Implementation Plan

Agricultural Variables (large scale)
  • Yield
  • Soil Moisture

Site Description

Landscape TopographyBasin, plain and Mountainous
Typical Field Size
Climatic ZoneTropics, warm
Crop Details

Winter Wheat (Normal):
Calendar: December - June

Sugar beet (Normal):
Calendar: November - June

Olives (Normal):

Tangerines, Mandarines and Clementines (Normal):

Grapes (Normal):

Apricots (Normal):

Soil Type & Texture

Inorganic:

  • Loam
  • Clay Loam
Soil Drainage Class
    Irrigation Infrastructure
    • Surface irrigation
    • No irrigation (precipitation)
    Other Site Specifications

    The watershed is located in the Tensift region of Marrakech in Morocco (Figure 1). Covering an area of about 20,000 km ², it is composed of 3 hydrological parts. South of the basin, the northern slopes of the Atlas is well-watered and snow (up to 600 mm / year). Peaking at over 4,000 m, those mountains are the water tower of the Haouz plain. In the center, a vast plain, characterized by a semi-arid climate (rainfall 250 mm / year), and where the water flows are predominantly vertical except for wadis and water infrastructures. The main irrigated areas are located in the central and eastern part (2000 km ²) and rainfed cereals  is practiced on the rest of the plain. The cultivation of wheat is majority with over 80% of acreage covered followed by olive trees occupy about 13% of the plain, the remaining area being occupied by citrus, apricot, market gardens, vineyards, fodder . These proportions change significantly in the irrigated area where tree crops dominate. In the north, the small chain of arid mountains “Jbilets” has, in the present state of knowledge, little influence on the hydrological cycle in the region.

    Figure 1: location of the Tensift Watershed in Morocco

    Figure 2: location of the Haouz plain and the two sites in the Tensift Watershed

    Two test sites are considered for JECAM:

    The R3 sector is a 3000 ha area with flood irrigation on demand located 40 km east of Marrakech. The main crop is Winter Wheat. The other crops represent less than 20% of the cultivated area being Sugar Beet, Olive trees, etc. Soil texture is mainly Clay Loam. The growing season of winter wheat is December-June, sugar beet is from November to june, and Olive grove is evergreen with latency during the summer. The whole site have been under study since 2002 and benefited from several remote sensing campaigns with optical (SPOT, Landsat, Formosat), thermal (Aster, Landsat), and radar (ASAR) satellite timeseries.
    Tha Agafay plantation is a mandarine orchard located 20 km east of Marrakech which extends on 500 ha. The plantation benefits from drip irrigation. Soil texture is loam, mandarines trees are evergreen with latency during the summer. The site is monitored since 2006 with an eddy covariance system, soil temperature and humidity sensors, fluxmeters. Sapflow measurements for separation of evaporation and transpiration have been carried on.

    A picture of a wheat field in the Haouz plain of Marrakech, with the High Atlas Mountain in the back.

    In Situ Observations

    Land Cover

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 and Agafay Survey Acquistion Mode: O Field Campaign: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010.

    • Frequency: Annual

    Water and Energy Budget

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensive sites Turbulent fluxes Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    RH

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Weather Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min to 1 hour

    Remote Sensing

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 and Agafay Survey Acquistion Mode: A Field Campaign: 2001-.

    • Frequency: Annual

    LE

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensive sites Turbulent fluxes Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    Ra

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min. to 1 hour

    Plowing

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 Survey Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaign: Since 2006

    • Frequency: Agricultural Season

    Vertical profiles of temperature

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min. to1 hour

    Sowing

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 Survey Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaign: Since 2006

    • Frequency: Agricultural Season

    Vertical profiles of humidity

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensive sites Reflectrometry probes Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    Rain

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 36 pluvios Pluviometer Acquisition Mode: O From 60’s for some pluviometers

    • Frequency: Daily

    Irrigation

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 Survey Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaign: 2002, 2006, 2008 ….

    • Frequency: By water turn

    Surface humidity

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Capacitive probes Acquisition Mode: O

    • Frequency: 1 - 7 days

    Reflectance

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3, wheat Cropscan Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaign:

    • Frequency: 15 days

    fraction cover, LAI, Biomass

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site R3 Hemi-photo Acquisition Mode: O Field campaigns. 2003. 2004. 2006, 2012, 2013

    • Frequency: 10 days

    Irrigation

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Agafay Survey Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaign: 2006…

    • Frequency: Drip (daily)

    Water fluxes

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 Fluxmeter Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    TS

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensive sites Thermoradiometer Acquisition Mode: A Field Campaign:

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    R0

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min. to1 hour

    Fraction, LAI , Biomass

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site Agafay Destructive cut Acquisition Mode: O Field Campaigns: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2013

    • Frequency: Annual

    Rn

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensives sites Radiometer Acquisition Mode: A Field Campaign:

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    P

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min to 1 hour

    Optical and water vapor

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Saada CIMEL photometer Acquisition Mode: A Field Campaign: 2004 ……

    • Frequency: 15 min.

    Yield (wheat)

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: R3 Survey Aquistion Mode – O Field Campaign: 2013

    • Frequency: Annual

    G

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: Intensive sites Flux plates Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min.

    U

    • Crop Type(s):
    • Collection Protocol:

      Site: 15 stations Weather Station Acquisition Mode: A

    • Frequency: 30 min to 1 hour

    EO Data

    Optical Data Requirements

  • Approximate Start Date of Acquisition: 01/12
  • Approximate End Date of Acquisition: 31/07
  • Spatial resolution: High resolution (5-20m)
  • temporal_frequency: Weekly
  • Level of Expertise: Intermediate
  • Latency of Data Delivery:
  • Challanges:
  • SAR Data Requirements

  • Approximate Start Date of Acquisition: 01/09
  • Approximate End Date of Acquisition: 30/06
  • Spatial resolution: High resolution (5-20m)
  • temporal_frequency: Biweekly
  • Frequency: XC
  • Incidence Angle: Medium
  • Polarisation: HHVV
  • Level of Processing: Level 2
  • Orbit: Any
  • Level of Expertise: Intermediate
  • Latency of Data Delivery: 2-5 days
  • Challanges:
  • Passive Microwave Data Requirements

    Thermal Data Requirements

    Results

    Documents and Files

    Links to paper

    Project Reports

    Study Team

    Team Leader

  • Name: Lionel Jarlan
  • Affiliation: Centre d'études Spatiales de la Biosphère
  • Affiliation Webpage: http://www.cesbio.ups-tlse.fr/
  • Position:
  • Email: lionel.jarlan@cesbio.cnes.fr
  • Personal Webpage:
  • Phone number:
  • Postal Address:
  • Other Team Members

  • Name: Saïd Khabba
  • Affiliation: Université Cadi Ayyad
  • Affiliation Webpage: https://www.uca.ma/
  • Position:
  • Email: khabba@uca.ac.ma
  • Personal Webpage:
  • Role: Co-Lead
  • Name: Michel LePage
  • Affiliation: Centre d'études Spatiales de la Biosphère
  • Affiliation Webpage: http://www.cesbio.ups-tlse.fr/
  • Position:
  • Email: michel.lepage@cesbio.cnes.fr
  • Personal Webpage:
  • Role: Member
  • Name: Vincent Simonneaux
  • Affiliation: Institut de recherche pour le développement
  • Affiliation Webpage: https://en.ird.fr/the-ird
  • Position:
  • Email: vincent.simonneaux@ird.fr
  • Personal Webpage:
  • Role: Co-Lead