S125 Using Satellite Imagery to Monitor Large Lakes; Case Study Lake Hamun and Lake Eyre

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Rezwon Islam, New York City College of Technology, Brooklyn, New York; and A. Bah, H. Norouzi, and A. AghaKouchak

Proper lakes function can ease the impact of floods and drought especially in arid and semi-arid regions. They are important environmentally and can directly affect human lives. Better understanding of the effect of climate change and human-driven changes on lakes would provide invaluable information for policy-makers and local people. As part of a comprehensive study, we aim to monitor the land-cover/ land-use changes in the world's major lakes using satellite observations. As a case study, Lake Hamun which locates on the south-east of Iran and adjacent to Afghanistan, and Pakistan borders and Lake Eyre which locates on the South Australia are investigated. The Lakes are the main source of agriculture, fishing and hunting for the people around it and politically important in the region since it is shared among three different countries. The purpose of the research is to find the Lake's area changes from 1972 to 2015 and to see if any drought or water resources management has affected the lakes. Analyzing satellites imagery from Landsat shows that the area of the Lake Hamun changes seasonally and intra-annually. Significant seasonal effects are found in in some years, as well as, substantial amount of shallow water is found throughout the years. The area of Lake Eyre also changes throughout the years with some significant desiccations. The precipitation records as well as drought historical records are studied for the lake's basin. The results reveal that lake Hamun has experienced at least two prolong dryings since 1972 which drought cannot solely be blamed as main forcing factor. The results of this study can benefit ecological studies as well.
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