S122 Monitoring Land-Cover Changes in Lake Urmia Basin Using LandSat Imagery

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Amarou Bah, Brooklyn, NY; and N. Fazel

Lakes around the world are subject of dryness due to many reasons. Urmia Lake, one of the largest saline in-land water bodies in the world located in Northwestern of Iran is shrinking significantly these years. Landsat imagery is used to monitor the Lake's water extend since 1972. The dryness of the Lake has caused socio-economical and environmental consequences to the population around the Lake and the migration/extinction of animal species. The main purpose of this research is to investigate the causes that led to the decrease of the water level of the Lake. In this study, the land cover change in the lake basin also is investigated. Different land-cover and crop types is quantified for several years through a classification method to monitor the changes that may cause water usage increase in the region. Recent increase of agriculture in the region and construction of several dams in the basin has caused water supply shortage to the lake. The results suggest that droughts, less precipitation, climate change are not the major causes to the dryness of the Lake. Drastic reduction of area of the Lake over the years endangers people living and health in that region because of a large amount of exposed salt land after desiccation of the lake.
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