Application of Satellite Data for Determining Environmental Water Requirement of Wetlands in Data-sparse Regions (The Case of Kanibrazan Wetland, Iran)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Aban Pazhuh Consulting Engineering, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD Student in Water Resources Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Iran


Determining and supplying environmental water requirements (EWRs) of ecosystems including wetlands is one of the most effective ways to mitigate wetlands degradation and to ensure the provision of ecosystem services. This study aims at determining EWR of the Kanibrazan International wetland, south of Lake Urmia, using a combined hydro-ecological approach. The wetland’s water and vegetation areas were extracted using long-term satellite data. Moreover, frequency analysis of the inundated areas, investigation of the vegetation life cycle, and estimation of evapotranspiration (ET) from the wetland were conducted. Subsequently, through multi-season field surveys from summer 2015 to fall 2016, the wetland’s hydrography and spatial distribution of vegetation and birds’ habitat in the wetland were obtained. Then, indicator vegetation and winter bird species were identified and used to determine appropriate inundation areas and volumes. Finally, satellite-derived inundated areas and ETs were used in an inverse water balance model to calculate the associated inflow regime to the wetland. Results show that in a normal year an annual volume of 16.5 MCM, with a tow-peak hydrograph in mid-fall and late spring is required to be supplied as EWR of the Kanibrazan wetland. The findings of this study can be applied in the planning of the surface and groundwater water resources feeding wetland and to better manage wetland’s water quality. 


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Volume 8, Issue 1
April 2021
Pages 109-125
  • Receive Date: 25 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 18 February 2021
  • Accept Date: 18 February 2021
  • First Publish Date: 08 March 2021