Using Satellite Sensing to Study the Impact of Climate and Human Changes in the Mesopotamian Marshlands, Iraq

Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Reyadh Hussain Rady Al barakat, PhD Student, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Columbia, SC, United States and Venkataraman Lakshmi, Professor, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Columbia, SC, United States
The Iraqi Marshes (30°5’- 32°5’N and 44°5’- 48°5’E) considered as a one of the most important wetlands in the world and during past decades the marshlands area has varied between 10,500 km² to 20,000 km² during flood. These marshes are a good environment for variety of plants such as Reeds and Papyrus and home for many different species of birds. The three main marshes that make up the Iraq Marshes are - Al-Hammar marsh, Al-Huwaizah Marsh and The Central Marshes (Al-Omarah Marsh). They are supplied freshwater from two main rivers in Iraq - Tigris and Euphrates and from Karkha River that flows from Iran. We use Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to monitor the behavior of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series between 1982 and 2014 as well as other land surface variable - Land Surface Temperature (LST), Evapotranspiration (ET) and Rainfall rates using Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS). In this research we divided the study into three periods (1982-1990, 1991-2003 and 2004-2014) and the marshes are exposed to a few significant droughts during 33 years. In this study we will examine the relationship between water cycle and land surface variables during these three periods.