IMPACT OF THE ATATÜRK DAM LAKE ON AGRO-METEOROLOGICAL ASPECTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA REGION USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS ANALYSIS
Keywords: Atatürk Dam Lake, GAP, Landsat time-series, Tasseled Cap transformation, Disturbance Index, RS, GIS
Abstract. The Atatürk Dam is the fourth largest clay-cored rock fill dam in the world. It was constructed on the Euphrates River located in semi-arid Southeastern Turkey in the 1980s as the central component of a large-scale regional development project for the Southeastern Anatolia region (referred to as GAP). The construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1990. The dam and the hydroelectric power plant, which went into service after filling up the reservoir was accomplished in 1992. The Atatürk Dam, which has a height of 169 m, a total storage capacity of 48.7 million m3, and a surface area of about 817 km2 plays an important role in the development of Turkey's energy and agriculture sectors. In this study, the spatial and temporal impacts of the Atatürk Dam on agro-meteorological aspects of the Southeastern Anatolia region have been investigated. Change detection and environmental impacts due to water-reserve changes in Atatürk Dam Lake have been determined and evaluated using multi-temporal Landsat satellite imageries and meteorological datasets within a period of 1984 to 2011. These time series have been evaluated for three time periods. Dam construction period constitutes the first part of the study. Land cover/use changes especially on agricultural fields under the Atatürk Dam Lake and its vicinity have been identified between the periods of 1984 to 1992. The second period comprises the 10-year period after the completion of filling up the reservoir in 1992. At this period, Landsat and meteorological time-series analyses are examined to assess the impact of the Atatürk Dam Lake on selected irrigated agricultural areas. For the last 9-year period from 2002 to 2011, the relationships between seasonal water-reserve changes and irrigated plains under changing climatic factors primarily driving vegetation activity (monthly, seasonal, and annual fluctuations of rainfall rate, air temperature, humidity) on the watershed have been investigated using a 30-year meteorological time series. For all images, geometric corrections including digital elevation information and Tasseled Cap transformations were carried out to attain changes in surface reflectance and denoting disturbance of Landsat reflectance data. Consequently, thematic maps of the affected areas were created by using appropriate visualization and classification techniques in conjunction with geographical information system. The resulting dataset was used in a linear trend analysis to characterize spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation-cover development. Analysis has been conducted in ecological units that have been determined by climate and land cover/use. Based on the results of the trend analysis and the primary factor analysis, selected parts of South-eastern Anatolia region are analyzed. The results showed that approximately 368 km2 of agricultural fields have been affected because of inundation due to the Atatürk Dam Lake. However, irrigated agricultural fields have been increased by 56.3% of the total area (1552 km2 of 2756km2) on Harran Plain within the period of 1984 – 2011. This study presents an effective method for time-series analysis that can be used to regularly monitor irrigated fields in the Southeastern Anatolia region.