Assessing Contribution of Climate Change on Wetlands by Using Multi-temporal Satellite Data
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Numerous natural lentic systems of the world are under the threat of drying due to either natural or anthropogenic activities. Natural circumstances are basically due to climate change effects remarkably sensed within the past decades. However, human-induced activities in some cases dominate over natural events due to demand of water particularly for irrigation and domestic needs. This study investigates the changes that have occurred on the water surfaces of 3 significant water bodies located in the Konya Closed Basin of Turkey. Geographically inner Anatolia region of Turkey receives half of the annual average precipitation of the overall country; on the contrary, the region is known to be an important agricultural area. The majority of fertile arable land is spared to wet agriculture necessitating vast amounts of water. As expected, all the 3 water bodies have incredibly lost their water within years. In the multi-temporal analysis of the study area, Landsat 5 TM, 7 ETM+ and 8 OLI satellite images belonging to every 10-years interval between 1987 and 2017, and corresponding meteorological data were used. Water losses in the 3 ecosystems, one is a salt production lake, Tuz (Salt) Lake, the other is a Ramsar Site (Meke Maar), and the last one is an internationally recognized wetland (Akgol), are detected. Resultantly, it is observed that only Tuz Lake has been artificially fed in the last decade as its economic value is higher than the other two systems. Meke Maar and Akgol Wetland have high ecological value; however, their original functions vanished as they have almost lost their water. It is important to state that humans’ need of water is essential; but, unconscious utilization and wrong irrigation applications lead to water scarcity. On the other hand, climate change accelerates the reduction of water resources. Satellite data coupled with ground truth measurements are accepted as modern technological tools to detect short and long term temporal changes in the water surfaces of such vulnerable water systems especially for attracting the attention of decision-makers responsible of sustainable management of water resources.
KeywordsWetlands Remote sensing Turkey Tuz lake Meke Akgol
The authors would like to express their thanks to TUBITAK for their financial support to Project number 116Y142, and to Istanbul Technical University, Scientific Research Project Funding for their financial support to ITU BAP Project number MGA-2017-40803.
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