Land use in the Khabur River drainage of northeastern Syria has changed from open rangeland to an intensely cultivated landscape in less than 100 years. In this semi-arid zone successful agriculture usually requires either supplemental or full irrigation. The drivers of the changes have included settlement of refugees, rapid population growth, ambitious plans to develop the water resources for summer cropping, decisions by individual farmers to install wells, and competing needs and programs in the river's headwaters in Turkey. Collectively these have led to fundamental alteration of the natural drainage in favor of ground water extraction, storage reservoirs and irrigation canals. We have monitored the magnitude of recent changes through satellite imagery. The sustainability of the system under current practices is in doubt.
- Normalize Difference Vegetation Index
- Archaeological History
- Full Irrigation
- Summer Crop
- Barley Field
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