Estimation of Surface Water Temperature of the Tigris River System in Iraq

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World Environments and Water Resources

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Monitoring surface water temperatures (Tw) in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs is a key component of environmental management and influences water quality by affecting bio-geo chemical reaction rates, altering the saturation concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO), and influencing the susceptibility of fish to disease. Temperatures in the Tigris River, one of the largest rivers in the Middle East, are influenced by factors such as heat fluxes at the air-water and human activities such as direct discharge of water to the river. However, modeling and management of water temperature is limited by a paucity of in-situ data, which prevents calibration of models. In this study, we infill data gaps by estimating Tw using the thermal bands of both the Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM+ sensors. These satellite-based estimates, typically measured once or twice a month with 60-120m resolution, are then used to develop a regression model that relates daily water temperature to daily air temperature and river flow. These estimates are used to define the Tw boundary conditions for a hydrodynamic and water quality model of the Tigris River based on a 2D implementation of the CE-QUAL-W2 (W2) numerical model. Initial results suggest that there is a significant agreement between modeled and remotely estimated data of Tw. Results suggest that short-wave solar radiation is the most important factor that controls seasonal Tw variations. However, anthropogenic influence is observed as a result of return irrigation flows and flows from Tharthar Lake.


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