Historical and recent records of West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks in Europe will be collated and geo-referenced in a Geographical Information System (GIS), together with available data layers on mosquito distributions, land-cover, land-use, human population and elevation. Series of remotely sensed satellite images (Landsat, AVHRR, MODIS, Aster, MSG & Quickbird) will also be entered into the GIS for multi-scale analyses of the environmental conditions associated with WNV presence in Europe. These data sets will be used to answer the following questions, each one of which comprises a project objective:
1)Are there signs in the historical record of Landsat imagery of significant land-use, land-cover changes in WNV outbreak areas over the last 30 years?
2)Can modern high resolution (Quickbird) imagery provide useful classified maps of WNV outbreak areas?
3)Are there any signs of significant changes in habitat seasonality in and around WNV areas in Europe over the last 20 years (AVHRR, coarse resolution data back to 1982)?
4)Can we relate habitat seasonality as detected by new generations of higher spatial resolution multi-temporal satellites/sensors (e.g. Terra/MODIS and possibly MSG/SEVIRI) to seasonality as detected by the older, lower resolution multi-temporal satellites (e.g. NOAA/AVHRR)?
5)Can we combine land-use and land-cover maps derived from Landsat (and Quickbird) with the habitat seasonality information derived from AVHRR, MODIS or SEVIRI data to produce spatially detailed risk maps of WNV in Europe?
6) In the light of answers to 1) to 5), above, can we identify any areas within the UK that may be considered to be at risk of WNV establishment and spread?