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Climatic variables impact on inland lakes water levels and area fluctuations in an arid/semi-arid region of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey based on the remote sensing data

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Abstract

In this study, the impact of vegetation, land surface temperature, and precipitation on changes in water level and area of seven inland lakes (Urmia lake in Iran, Tharthar, Mosul lakes and Hammar 4 wetland in Iraq, and Beyşehir and Erçek lakes in Turkey) is analyzed to evaluate the variability of these lakes due to climate change. The altimetric data from four remote sensing databases (TOPEX/POSEIDON and Jason 1, 2, and 3), the area of the lakes from the images of Landsat OLI and ETM + sensors, the vegetation from MOD13Q1-NDVI 250 m database, land surface temperature from LST-MOD11A1, and precipitation from GPM_3IMERGM product were used in this study to assess the changes occurring in the period of the last 20 years (2000–2019). The results showed that in the analyzed area the values of the land surface temperature and vegetation indices increased, whereas annual precipitation sums decreased. Although temperature and vegetation changes in all three countries were almost consistent with each other, changes in the water level and area of the studied lakes were different. The highest decrease in the water level was observed for Urmia lake. Although decreases in the water level were also observed in other lakes, their water level returned after a time to its initial level (1992). This was not the case for Urmia lake, where the water level after 1999 never returned to the initial value, finally lowering by 7 m. The fluctuations of the water level and area of Iran, Turkey, and Iraq lakes are however caused by factors other than only those related to climate, which needs more investigations to determine more precisely the changes in the water level of these lakes.

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Contact Iman Rousta at irousta@yazd.ac.ir.

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Acknowledgements

Iman Rousta is deeply grateful to his supervisor (Haraldur Olafsson, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Institute for Atmospheric Sciences-Weather and Climate, and Department of Physics, University of Iceland and Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO)), for his great support, kind guidance, and encouragement.

Funding

This work was supported by Vedurfelagid, Rannis and Rannsoknastofa i vedurfraedi.

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

I.R. M.Sh. and A.K. proposed the topic. I.R. M.Sh. S.H. and A.K. carried out the data processing and analysis and wrote the manuscript. H.O. P.B. and J.K. enhanced the research design, helped with the analysis and interpretation of the results, and helped with writing the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Iman Rousta or Jaromir Krzyszczak.

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Not Applicable.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Communicated by: H. Babaie

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Appendix

Appendix

Table 4, Figs. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.

Table 4 The trends of the temperature changes (℃/month) calculated for the time series data from a specific month from the period 2000–2019 for separate watersheds of the studied lakes
Fig. 12
figure 12

The time series of monthly a nighttime, b daytime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Urmia Lake watershed

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figure 13

The time series of monthly a dayttime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Musel Lake watershed

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figure 14

The time series of monthly a daytime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Tharthar Lake watershed

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figure 15

The time series of monthly a daytime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Hammar-4 Lake watershed

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The time series of monthly a daytime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Karakaya Lake watershed

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figure 17

The time series of monthly a daytime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Ercek Lake watershed

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figure 18

The time series of monthly a daytime, b nighttime LST changes plotted for separate months from the period 2000–2019 for the Beysehir Lake watershed

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Rousta, I., Sharif, M., Heidari, S. et al. Climatic variables impact on inland lakes water levels and area fluctuations in an arid/semi-arid region of Iran, Iraq, and Turkey based on the remote sensing data. Earth Sci Inform 16, 1611–1635 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12145-023-00995-9

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