EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The AMMA-CATCH observatory : a platform to address scientific and societal issues in West-Africa

Jean-Martial Cohard1, Manuela Grippa2, Emmanuel Lawin3, Christophe Peugeot4, Bil Assanou5, Marie Boucher1, Véronique Chaffard1, Mamadou Diawara6, Jordi Etchanchu4, Gayane Faye7, Sylvie Galle1, Ibrahim Mainassara4, Moussa Malam-Abdou8, Ossenatou Mamadou3, Armand Mariscal1, Eric Mougin2, Soumaïla Moumouni3, Geremy Panthou1, and Thierry Lebel1
Jean-Martial Cohard et al.
  • 1Institute of Geoscience and Environment, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IRD, CNRS, Grenoble, France
  • 2Geosciences Environnement, Toulouse, Univ. Toulouse III, IRD, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 3Université Abomey Calavi, Bénin
  • 4Hydro-Science Montpellier, Univ. de Montpellier, IRD, CNRS, Montpellier, France
  • 5Université de Maradi, Maradi, Niger
  • 6Université de Bamako, Bamako, Mali
  • 7Université de Cheikh Anta Diod, Dakar, Sénégal
  • 8Université de Zinder, Zinder, Niger

West Africa is undergoing a drastic transition in climate, demography and land use. This has a strong impact on the development capacities of every country in the region. While regional trends in each of these three key areas are relatively well known, decision makers scientists are often lacking a proper vision of how climate and land use are evolving at spatial and temporal scales that count most for the living of populations. Moreover, the hydrological implications of these climate and land use evolutions are hardly documented, while models have still difficulties in reproducing them. It is therefore of utmost importance to rely on combined observation-modeling strategies to better apprehend the ongoing transition and explore possible future trajectories in terms of water resources, hydrological risks and food security. To that end, the regional long-term observatory AMMA-CATCH aims at monitoring the impacts of global changes on the continental water cycle and the functioning of the critical zone in West Africa, through a combination of mesoscale observations, data analyses and local to regional modeling. Three main issues are currently guiding our observation strategy: (1) Multi-decadal trends of hydro-climatic hazards (past, current and projected); (2) Dynamics of vegetation, land use and their interactions with the water cycle; (3) Trajectories of water resources. This strategy is supported by metrology, technology watch and innovation. The AMMA-CATCH observatory has been collecting data since 1990 on four highly instrumented sites (each of the roughly covering 10000 to 20000 km²), staggered from North to South of West Africa, in order to measure the latitudinal gradient in different eco-climatic zones (Benin, Niger, Mali), and since 2016, from complementary sites in Senegal and Niger, to assess the longitudinal variability in the Sahelian area. It is part of the OZCAR French Critical Zone observatory network and supported by French research institutions with long term engagement.

This presentation aims at highlighting recent results obtained by analyzing the data of the AMMA-CATCH observatory covering a large range of hydrology/land use related issues, such as tipping points in hydrology, rainfall intensification, infrastructure design norms, soil restoration, local and regional hyper-resolution hydrological modeling, …. This presentation also aims at encouraging a African-European structuration of socio-hydro-climate observations in this region in order to provide a strong science-based foundation for the elaboration of adaptation policies.

How to cite: Cohard, J.-M., Grippa, M., Lawin, E., Peugeot, C., Assanou, B., Boucher, M., Chaffard, V., Diawara, M., Etchanchu, J., Faye, G., Galle, S., Mainassara, I., Malam-Abdou, M., Mamadou, O., Mariscal, A., Mougin, E., Moumouni, S., Panthou, G., and Lebel, T.: The AMMA-CATCH observatory : a platform to address scientific and societal issues in West-Africa, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12616,, 2022.