Conference PaperPDF Available

Environmental crisis in Lake Urmia, Iran: a systematic review of causes, negative consequences and possible solutions

Authors:

Abstract

Lake Urmia, located in NW of Iran, is the third largest salt-water lake on earth. Due to poor water management and construction of 48+ dams, more than 70% of the lake surface areas has already dried up. As a result, the retrieval of the lake shore has left a salt deposit behind and exposed to wind. Studies have predicted that salt storms from the dried lake will have serious impacts on the lives of 76 million people living around the lake. We are undertaking a systematic literature review in this article on a pool of 36 papers carefully selected from the literature, which have studied the Lake Urmia crisis in recent years. The systematic review synthesizes the evidence and insights reported in the existing body of knowledge in this area. This article is aimed to raise awareness and capture the attention of international organizations, NGOs and activists in the international arena and neighbouring countries. We hope that this review article would increase awareness for this major international environmental crisis in making and alert environmental and governmental decision makers in the countries around the lake.
1
Environmental Crisis in Lake Urmia, Iran: A Systematic Review of
Causes, Negative Consequences and Possible Solutions
Vahid Garousi1,2, Aref Najafi, Azar Samadi, Kabir Rasouli, Behzad Khanaliloo1,2
1: Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary
2: Lake Urmia Conservation Institute (LUCI), Calgary, Alberta, Canada
vgarousi@ucalgary.ca, {vahid, aref, azer, kabir, behzad@saveurmia.com
ABSTRACT
Lake Urmia, located in NW of Iran, is the third largest salt-water lake on earth. Due
to poor water management and construction of 48+ dams, more than 70% of the lake
surface areas has already dried up. As a result, the retrieval of the lake shore has left a
salt deposit behind and exposed to wind. Studies have predicted that salt storms from
the dried lake will have serious impacts on the lives of 76 million people living
around the lake. We are undertaking a systematic literature review in this article on a
pool of 36 papers carefully selected from the literature, which have studied the Lake
Urmia crisis in recent years. The systematic review synthesizes the evidence and
insights reported in the existing body of knowledge in this area. This article is aimed
to raise awareness and capture the attention of international organizations, NGOs and
activists in the international arena and neighbouring countries. We hope that this
review article would increase awareness for this major international environmental
crisis in making and alert environmental and governmental decision makers in the
countries around the lake.
1-INTRODUCTION
Registered as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and listed as a wetland of
international importance under the 1971 Ramsar Convention (Nazaridoust, 2011),
Lake Urmia accommodates one of the world’s richest biodiversity. More than 210
species of birds, such as flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, and gulls, as well as many
species of reptiles, amphibians and mammals, such as yellow deer inhabit the lake
and the surrounding area.
During the last decade (since 2000), Lake Urmia has been shrinking significantly and
its depth has fallen by almost seven meters, compared to pre-2000 levels. Experts
believe that surface flow diversions, groundwater extraction, and the lack of efficient
water management are the main reasons. Lake Urmia holds an estimated 8 billion
cubic metric tons of salt (Eimanifar & Mohebbi, 2007). According to experts, if the
lake completely dries up, which can happen in less than 10 years from now, a vast
amount of salt will be released into the region resulting in an ecological, agricultural,
and social catastrophe not only in Azerbaijani cities of Iran, but also in neighbouring
countries such as Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan (Pengra, February 2012). It will force
many people to abandon their villages and towns around the lake and a vast majority
of the flora and fauna will be lost permanently (Pengra, February 2012). The UNEP,
in its Global Environmental Alert Services (GEAS) bulletin dated February 2012,
2
declared the status of the lake as “alarming,” which requires attention and immediate
actions to avoid environmental catastrophe (Pengra, February 2012).
More than 100 scientific articles have been published about the Lake Urmia since
1970’s. About 36 of those papers have focused on recent drying trend of the lake, its
recent water-level changes, causes of the crisis, its negative consequences and
possible solutions to the problem. To summarize the body of knowledge in this area,
we are undertaking and reporting a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) in this article
on the pool of 36 papers which have focused on the Lake Urmia crisis.
The remainder of paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses a similar disaster
(the case of Aral Sea) and related work. In Section 3, we describe our research
method. Section 4 presents the results of the systematic review. Finally, Section 5
concludes the paper.
2-A SIMILAR DISASTER AND RELATED WORK
A Similar Disaster and its Impacts
Before presenting our SLR study and its results, we present a brief overview of a
similar recent disaster and its impacts. This would set the context and show the
seriousness of the crisis.
Formerly the world’s fourth largest lake with an area of 68,000 square kilometres, the
Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Uzbekistan in the
south. This lake started to shrink since the early 1960s and owes overwhelmingly to
the expansion of irrigation in Soviet Union has drained its two tributary rivers. Lake
level has fallen 23 m, area shrunk 74%, volume decreased 90%, and salinity grew
from 10 g/l to more than 100 g/l, causing major human health issues (Jensena, et al.,
1997; Micklin, 2007), and also negative ecological changes, including decimation of
native fish species, and initiation of dust/salt storms (Micklin, 2007). The population
residing around the lake has also been negatively impacted. There is little hope in the
foreseeable future to fully restore the Aral Sea, but measures to preserve/rehabilitate
parts of the water body and the deltas have started (Micklin, 2007). Scientists and
environmentalists believe that Lake Urmia and the population around the lake will
soon end up in a fate similar to Aral Sea (Boms & Arya, Last accessed: Sept. 2012;
Pengra, February 2012).
Related Work
A search in the academic article search engines, such as Google Scholar, for “Lake
Urmia”, at the time of this writing, returned 100+ scientific articles about Lake Urmia,
which have studied different aspects of the lake, e.g., the Artemia population (Agh, et
al., 2007), its water-level fluctuations (Reveshty & Maruyama, 2010) and various
articles studying the causes, impacts and solution of the current crisis (which we will
review in this article). However, no systematic review of the existing literature has
been reported on the crisis and that is the goal of this paper. There is a recent related
study by (Hoseinpour, et al., 2010), which investigated causes, results (i.e., impacts)
and solutions of the crisis, which was an insightful study, but it did not conduct a
SLR study as we conduct in this work.
3
3-RESEARCH GOAL AND METHOD
Research Method
SLR studies are popular in different disciplines and many SLR articles have been
published in the literature, e.g., in environmental sciences (Pullin & Stewart, 2006),
social sciences (Petticrew & Roberts, 2005), and software engineering (Budgen &
Brereton, 2006). This SLR is carried out based on the procedures and guidelines
provided in (Budgen & Brereton, 2006; Petticrew & Roberts, 2005; Pullin & Stewart,
2006), which can be summarized in the following steps:
1. Identification of research goal and research questions
2. Selection of the “primary” studies, and quality assessment of the studies under
review
3. Data extraction
4. Data synthesis and reporting
Steps 1 and 2 are discussed in the next sub-sections. We utilized Steps 3 and 4 to
synthesize the results of this study which are reported in Section 4.
Goal and Research Questions
The goal of this SLR study is to systematically review the state-of-the-art (i.e.,
existing articles) in the scope of environmental crisis in Lake Urmia to review,
synthesize and extract the causes of this crisis, its negative consequences of and
possible solutions as proposed by researchers in the existing articles. Based on the
above goal, the following three research questions are raised.
RQ 1 – What are the causes of the environmental crisis in Lake Urmia?
RQ 2 – What are the negative impacts and consequences of the crisis, currently
occurring and also expected to occur in future?
RQ 3 – What possible solutions have been proposed by researchers in this area?
Study Selection and Quality Assessment
To find the relevant primary studies, we searched the following three major online
academic article search engines: (1) Google Scholar, (2) Microsoft Academic Search,
and (3) Science Direct.
In order to ensure that we included as many relevant publications as possible in the
pool of selected studies, we used the following keywords: “lake Urmia”, “Urmia lake”
and other (wrongly-used) spellings as well: Oroumiyeh, Orumiyeh and Urumiyeh. To
ensure that we derive our results based on sound studies with reasonable quality, our
(technical) quality-assessment criteria for including the papers were as follows. We
ensured that studies have been peer reviewed and appeared in accredited venues
(journals and conferences). Although the subject matter has recently started to
become an international issue, it is still mostly a national issue (inside Iran). Thus, a
large number of non-English articles (mostly in Farsi) have appeared on the issue of
Lake Urmia. Since most of the authors of the current paper are well versed in Farsi, in
addition to English articles, we also included three good-quality articles written in
Farsi (Golabian, 2010a; Jahanbakhsh, et al., 2011; S.; Jalili, et al., 2011).
4
After the initial search and the follow-up analysis for exclusion of low-quality
publications, the pool of publications was finalized with 36 studies (also called
“primary studies”)1. The reader can refer to the references section for the full list of
all primary studies. The final pool of selected publications has also been published as
an online repository using Google Docs (Garousi, Last accessed: Sept. 2012).
4-RESULTS OF THE SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
We discuss first the general trends and breakdown of the papers in our pool of study.
Afterwards, results are presented for each of the RQs 1, 2 and 3.
Trends and Breakdown of Papers
As the crisis has becoming more serious in recent years, i.e., as of September 2012,
70% of the lake has dried up (Head of the West Azerbaijan Province's Environment
Organization, News date: Sept. 7, 2012), we were expecting to see more papers about
this crisis. To assess this hypothesis, Figure 1 shows the publications trend by year.
Note that since this study was conducted in September 2012, data for 2012 are partial.
As we can see, more papers have been appearing in recent years, denoting the
increasing criticality of the crisis.
Figure 1. Publications trend by year
Also, we have lately observed that the issue has gone beyond only a national (Iranian)
issue and has become an
international issue. To assess this,
we extracted the countries of
affiliation for the articles authors.
The data are shown in Figure 2. As
it can be seen, authors and
researchers from countries other
than Iran, e.g., Turkey and
Switzerland, have shown interest
to conduct research about the issue.
The next classification we wanted
1 (Abbaspour & Nazaridoust, 2007; Abbaspour;, et al., 2012; Ahmadzadeh Kokya, et al., 2011; AA; Alesheikh, et al.,
2007; A. Alesheikh, et al., 2004; Alipour, 2006; Arash Rad, et al., 2011; Asem, et al., 2012; Bakhtiaria & Zeinoddinia,
2011; Delju, et al., 2012; Eimanifar & Mohebbi, 2007; Golabian, 2010a, 2010c; Hassanzadeh, et al., 2011; Hedayatizade,
et al., 2010; Heidari, et al., 2010; Hoseinpour, et al., 2010; Jahanbakhsh, et al., 2011; Sheida Jalili, et al., 2011; S.; Jalili,
et al., 2011; Karbassi, et al., 2010; Manaffar, et al., 2011; Meijer, et al., 2012; Moghtased-Azar, et al., 2012; Mohebbi, et
al., 2011; Nikbakht, et al., 2012; Nourani & Sayyah Fard, 2012; Rasuly, 2006; Reveshty & Maruyama, 2010;
Rezvantalab S. & Amrollahi M. H., 2011; Seif & Paein Koulaei, 2005; Seyd Kazem Alavipanah , et al., 2007; Stevens, et
al., 2012; Talebizadeh & Moridnejad, 2011; Zarghami, 2011; Zeinoddinia, et al., 2009)
Figure 2. Authors’ country of affiliation
5
to have was to breakdown the papers by their focus area, in terms of each of our RQs
1, 2 and 3. Figure 3 shows this classification. In addition to addressing our three RQs,
several articles also reported water-level measurements, which we think are also
related to the subject of our review study (i.e., showing the trend of decreasing water
level/volume).
Last but not least, we wanted to assess the yearly-trend of focus on each of the above
areas. Figure 4 shows that trend. As we can observe, in recent years, more and more
articles have reported the causes of the crisis and also its consequences. Next, we
review and synthesize our SLR findings for the three RQs.
Figure 3. Breakdown of the papers by
their focus Figure 4. Trend of focus areas by year
Causes (RQ 1)
After our systematic and careful review of all the 36 articles, we found that 25 articles
have reported causes of the issue. Three main types of causes have been reported: (1)
construction of dams (in 16 papers), (2) poor water management policies (16 papers),
and (3) construction of a primitive-type (gravel) causeway diving the lake into two
sub-lakes in north and south (10 papers), with almost no connectivity. The reader is
referred to the online spreadsheet in Google Docs (Garousi, Last accessed: Sept. 2012)
to see the list of exact paper titles discussing each of the above causes.
The Iranian Water Resource Management Organization has a comprehensive website
including all the information about dams already-built, those in construction and also
the planned ones (Website of the
Iranian Water Resource Management
Organization, Last accessed: Sept. 18,
2012). According to this website, as of
Sept. 2012, 48 dams have been built on
the basin of the Lake Urmia. The
locations of the 10 largest in-use dams
are shown in Figure 5. The dam named
Shahid (Martyr) Kazemi is the largest
in terms of capacity and is clearly
visible in the Google Maps (Figure 5).
According to (Alipour, 2006),
historically, the volume of water in the
lake in normal conditions was
estimated to be 19 billion m3.
According to our calculations based on Figure 5- The location of the 10 largest
dams in the Lake Urmia basin.
6
data from (Website of the Iranian Water Resource Management Organization, Last
accessed: Sept. 18, 2012), the total volume of water behind the 48 dams is about 2.5
billion m3, about 13% of the lake’s health capacity. By considering the extra flowing
water prevented by dams, one can clearly see the major impact of dams in the crisis.
For space constraints, we are not able to discuss the other two main causes in this
article (poor water management policies and construction of a primitive-type
causeway) and postpone them to our future articles.
Negative Impacts and Consequences (RQ 2)
Negative impacts and consequences of the crisis have unfortunately already started.
Based on the explicit discussions and evidences provided in the papers, we classify
the impacts in the following categories: environmental (6 papers), agricultural (13
papers), health (5 papers), social (6 papers), and economic (10 papers). Of course,
these categories are not mutually exclusive, but rather inter-related, e.g., occurrence
of salt storms from the lake (Abbaspour;, et al., 2012) will lead to environmental
damage, and then to agricultural, health, social and economic issues as a result.
The major risk in this context seems to be the salt storms, which have unfortunately
already started, according to observations of trusted witnesses. Saline areas should
not be left bare for extended periods of time, especially where the sites are
susceptible to wind or water erosion. Wind can cause salt particulates migration in the
region. In addition of health related issues for the residence of the region, it can have
impact on ecosystem of the region.
Depending on the wind strength, direction and pattern, salt particulates can migrate
and deposit on the vast area in the region. This would cause increase in the salt
content of the soil in the whole region which can cause environmental impacts. The
worsening situation of the lake will have deep and disturbing results on the social life
in the many cities around the lake.
For example, in an radio interview (The World Radio News Magazine, Sept. 11,
2011), Dr. Esmail Kahrom, professor of environmental sciences at the University of
Tehran, warned based on scientific grounds that disappearance of Lake Urmia will
result in severe salt storms. Dr. Esmail Kahrom pointed out that already the salt
storms have started since more than half of
the lake’s surface is now gone and a thick
layer of salt has appeared. He added that “It
[the salt storm] can travel up to about 500
kilometers”. He also added that: “It has
been estimated that six to eight cities will
be totally destroyed, covered by layers and
layers of salt. That’s four to fourteen
million people that have to be displaced to
avoid the storm of salt within that region”.
To show the impact of such devastating salt
storms already begun, the radius of 500 Km
from the lake has been visualized in Figure
6 (using the Google Earth software). It is
clear to see that not only Iran, but all the
Figure 6-Radius of 500 Km from the
lake (using the Google Earth software)
7
neighbouring countries, including Turkey, Iraq, Armenia, Georgia and even southern
Russia will be impacted.
Possible Solutions (RQ 3)
Seven papers (Abbaspour & Nazaridoust, 2007; Golabian, 2010a, 2010b; Hoseinpour,
et al., 2010; Seif & Paein Koulaei, 2005; Zarghami, 2011; Zeinoddinia, et al., 2009)
have proposed evidence-based and scientific solutions to the crisis. However, all
authors have noted that coming up with a detailed rescue plan would require in-depth
collection of relevant data and analyzing the overall water management of the region,
and their feasibility should be carefully investigated with respect to existing
constraints (political, environmental, etc.).
The two principal approaches to the problem are: (1) to adjust water allocation within
the basin (mainly from the 48+ dams) to allow an adequate incoming flow to sustain
the dying Lake Urmia, and (2) to import (divert) water from the neighbouring basins,
e.g., Aras River in the border of Iran-Azerbaijan, proposed by (Hoseinpour, et al.,
2010; Zarghami, 2011), in a distance of about 81 Km from Lake Urmia, and Lake
Van in Turkey, a distance of about 110 Km.
Reducing the amount of water diverted for agriculture, domestic and industrial use, or
at least curtailing the growth in these water uses, may help stop or slow the decline of
Lake Urmia. (Abbaspour & Nazaridoust, 2007) have produced an estimate of inflow
required to maintain the lake. They estimate that an annual volume of about 3 million
cubic metres would be the ecological water requirement of Lake Urmia which would
"keep the ecological functions of the lake sustainable" and allow the survival of a
viable Artemia urmiana population.
5-CONCLUSIONS
We conducted and reported a systematic literature review in this article on a pool of
36 papers which have reported causes, negative consequences and possible solutions
of the environmental crisis in Lake Urmia, Iran. The systematic review synthesized
the evidence and insights reported in the existing body of knowledge in this area.
This article is aimed to raise awareness and capture the attention of international
organizations, NGOs and activists across the world and especially in the
neighbouring countries. We hope that this review article would increase awareness
for this serious international crisis in making and alert environmental and
governmental decision makers in the countries around the lake.
The near future does not look good for this major lake in the region. Its death, if not
prevented, will bring misery and more stress to the already-stressed and unstable
region with many tensions among different nations and ethnic groups. It is the authors’
sincere hope that with the active participation and collaboration of the locals, Iranian
government, international organizations, NGOs and activists in the international
arena, this major environmental crisis can be dealt with in a timely manner. Instead of
news releases and meetings as they are being reported inside Iran, concrete actions
are needed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
8
The authors would like to thank the University of Calgary for providing a travel grant
for the presentation of this conference paper.
REFERENCES
Abbaspour, M., & Nazaridoust, A. (2007). Determination of environmental water requirements of
Lake Urmia, Iran: an ecological approach. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 64(2),
161-169.
Abbaspour;, M., Javid;, A. H., Mirbagheri;, S. A., Givi;, F. A., & Moghimi;, P. (2012). Investigation
of lake drying attributed to climate change. International journal of Environmental Science and
Technology, 10, 257-266.
Agh, N., Abatzopoulos, T. J., Kappas, I., Stappen, G. V., Rouhani, S. M. R., & Sorgeloos, P. (2007).
Coexistence of Sexual and Parthenogenetic Artemia Populations in Lake Urmia and
Neighbouring Lagoons. International Review of Hydrobiology, 92(1), 48–60.
Ahmadzadeh Kokya, T., Pejman, A. H., Mahin Abdollahzadeh, E., Ahmadzadeh Kokya, B., &
Nazariha, M. (2011). Evaluation of salt effects on some thermodynamic properties of Urmia Lake
water. International Journal of Environmental Research., 5(2), 343-348.
Alesheikh, A., Ghorbanali, A., & Nouri, N. (2007). Coastline change detection using remote sensing.
International journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 4(1), 61-66.
Alesheikh, A., Ghorbanali, A., & Talebzadeh, A. (2004). Generation the coastline change map for
Urmia Lake by TM and ETM+ imagery. Paper presented at the Map Asia Conference, Beijing,
China.
Alipour, S. (2006). Hydro-geochemistry of seasonal variation of Urmia Salt Lake. Saline Systems, 2(9).
Arash Rad, F., Aksoz, N., & Hejazi, M. (2011). Effect of salinity on cell growth and β-carotene
production in Dunaliella sp. isolates from Urmia Lake in northwest of Iran. African Journal of
Biotechnology.
Asem, A., Mohebbi, F., & Ahmadi, R. (2012). Drought in Urmia Lake, the largest natural habitat of
brine shrimp Artemia. World aquaculture, 43(1), 36-38.
Bakhtiaria, A., & Zeinoddinia, M. (2011). Wave-Current Coupling Effects on Flow and Salinity
Circulations and Stratification in Saline Basins. Paper presented at the International Conference
on Environmental Science and Information Application Technology.
Boms, N., & Arya, S. (Last accessed: Sept. 2012). Iran's Environmental Ticking Bomb. Strategic
Outlook, http://www.strategicoutlook.org/middle-east/news-iran%E2%80%99s-environmental-
ticking-bomb.html.
Budgen, D., & Brereton, P. (2006). Performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering.
Paper presented at the Proceedings of the international conference on Software engineering.
Delju, A. H., Ceylan, A., Piguet, E., & Rebetez, M. (2012). Observed climate variability and change in
Urmia Lake Basin, Iran. Theoretical and Applied Climatology.
Eimanifar, A., & Mohebbi, F. (2007). Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review. Saline Systems,
3(5).
Garousi, V. (Last accessed: Sept. 2012). Online repository of papers on Environmental Crisis in Lake
Urmia. http://www.softqual.ucalgary.ca/projects/SM/Lake_Urmia/.
Golabian, H. (2010a). A rescue plan for saving and rehabilitation of Lake Urmia. Magazine of the
Iranian Society of Consulting Engineers.
Golabian, H. (2010b). Urumia Lake Volumetric/Hydro-ecological Stabilization and Permanence:
Supply of complementary and/or regulatory volume of water from Caspian Sea to Urumia Lake
(in Persian). Journal of Iranian Society of Consulting Engineers, English translation (by the
article's author): http://urmiana.com/Urmianae1.pdf(47).
Golabian, H. (2010c). Urumia Lake: Hydro-Ecological Stabilization and Permanence. In V. Badescu
& R. B. Cathcart (Eds.), Macro-Engineering Seawater in Unique Environments: Arid Lowlands
and Water (pp. 365-397).
9
Hassanzadeh, E., Zarghami, M., & Hassanzadeh, Y. (2011). Determining the Main Factors in
Declining the Urmia Lake level by using system Dynamics Modelling. Water Resource
Management, 26(1), 129-145.
Head of the West Azerbaijan Province's Environment Organization. (News date: Sept. 7, 2012). 70
percent of Urmia Lake [has] dried up. http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2063005.html.
Hedayatizade, M., Kavianpour, M. R., Golestani, M., & Abdi, M. s. (2010). Estimation of Missing
Annual Discharge - Case Study South-East Watershed of Urmia, Iran. Paper presented at the
International Conference on Environmental Engineering and Applications.
Heidari, N., Roudgar, M., & Ebrahimpour, N. (2010). Thermodynamic quantities and Urmia Sea water
evaporation. Saline Systems, 6(3).
Hoseinpour, M., Fakheri Fard, A., & Naghili, R. (2010). Death Of Urmia Lake, a Silent Disaster
Investigating Causes, Results and Solutions of Urmia Lake drying. Paper presented at the
International Applied Geological Congress.
Jahanbakhsh, S., Adalatdost, M., & Tadayoni, M. (2011). Urmia lake as a classic indicator of Sunspot-
climate relationship in the northwest of Iran (in Farsi). Iranian Journal on Geographical
Research.
Jalili, S., Kirchner, I., Livingstone, D. M., & Morid, S. (2011). The influence of large-scale
atmospheric circulation weather types on variations in the water level of Lake Urmia, Iran.
International Journal of Climatology, in press.
Jalili, S., Morid, S., Banakar, A., & Namdar Ghanbari, R. (2011). Assessing the Effect of SOI and
NAO Indices on Lake Urmia Water Level Variations, Application of Spectral Analysis. Iranian
Journal of Water and Soil .
Jensena, S., Mazhitovab, Z., & Zetterströmc, R. (1997). Environmental pollution and child health in
the Aral Sea region in Kazakhstan. Science of The Total Environment, 206(2-3), 187-193.
Karbassi, A., Bidhendi, G. N., Pejman, A., & Bidhendi, M. E. (2010). Environmental impacts of
desalination on the ecology of Lake Urmia. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 36(3), 419-424.
Manaffar, R., Zare, S., Agh, N., Siyabgodsi, A., Soltanian, S., Mees, F., et al. (2011). Sediment cores
from Lake Urmia (Iran) suggest the inhabitation by parthenogenetic Artemia around 5,000 years
ago. Hydrobiologia, 671(1), 65-74.
Meijer, K., Krogt, W., & Beek, E. (2012). A New Approach to Incorporating Environmental Flow
Requirements in Water Allocation Modeling. Water Resource Management, 26(5), 1271.
Micklin, P. (2007). The Aral Sea Disaster. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 35, 47-72.
Moghtased-Azar, K., Mirzaei, A., Nankali, H. R., & Tavakoli, F. (2012). Investigation of land
subsidence due to climate changes in surrounding areas of Urmia Lake (located in northwest of
Iran) using wavelet coherence analysis of geodetic measurements and methodological data.
Paper presented at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly.
Mohebbi, F., Ahmadi, R., Azari, A. M., Esmaili, L., & Asadpour, Y. (2011). On the red coloration of
Urmia Lake. International Journal of Aquatic Science, 2(1).
Nazaridoust, A. (2011). Lake Urmia basin management. Paper presented at the Ramsar Pre-COP22,
Asia Regional Meeting, 14-18 Nov 2011.
Nikbakht, J., Tabari, H., & Talaee, P. H. (2012). Streamflow drought severity analysis by percent of
normal index (PNI) in northwest Iran. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, in press.
Nourani, V., & Sayyah Fard, V. (2012). Sensitivity analysis of the artificial neural network outputs in
simulation of the evaporation process at different climatologic regimes. Advances in Engineering
Software, 47(1), 127–146.
Pengra, B. (February 2012). The Drying of Iran's Lake Urmia and its Environmental Consequences.
UNEP Global Environmental Alert Service (GEAS) Bulletin,
http://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=79.
Petticrew, M., & Roberts, H. (2005). Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide:
John Wiley & Sons.
10
Pullin, A. S., & Stewart, G. B. (2006). Guidelines for systematic review in conservation and
environmental management. Conservation Biology, 20(6), 1647-1656.
Rasuly, A. (2006). Modelling of Urmia Lake Coastal Changes by Applying An Integrated RS-GIS
Approach. Paper presented at the CoastGIS Conference.
Reveshty, M. A., & Maruyama, Y. (2010). Study of Lake Urmia Level Fluctuations and Predicting
Probable Changes Using Multi-Temporal Satellite Images and Ground Truth Data Period (1976-
2010). Technical Report, Dept. of Geography, Zanjan University, Iran,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/46020794/Study-of-Lake-Urmia-Urmiye-Level-Fluctuations.
Rezvantalab S., & Amrollahi M. H. (2011). Investigation of Recent Changes in Urmia Salt Lake.
International Journal of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 2(3), 168-171.
Seif, M. S., & Paein Koulaei, R. T. (2005). Floating Bridge Modeling and Analysis. Scientia Iranica.
Seyd Kazem Alavipanah , Amiri , R., & Khnodei, K. (2007). The Use Of Spectral Signatures In
Extracting Information From Water Quality Parameters In The Lake Urmia, Iran. Paper
presented at the International Symposium on Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote
Sensing, Davos, Switzerland.
Stevens, L. R., Djamali, M., Andrieu-Ponel, V. r., & Beaulieu, J.-L. d. (2012). Hydro-climatic
variations over the last two glacial/interglacial cycles at Lake Urmia, Iran. Journal of
Paleolimnology, 7(4), 645-660.
Talebizadeh, M., & Moridnejad, A. (2011). Uncertainty analysis for the forecast of lake level
fluctuations using ensembles of ANN and ANFIS models. Expert Systems with Applications,
38(4), 4126–4135.
The World Radio News Magazine. (Sept. 11, 2011). Iran’s Disappearing Lake Orumiyeh Threatens
Salt Storm. Phone interview, Iran’s Disappearing Lake Orumiyeh Threatens Salt Storm
(http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/the-consequences-of-irans-lake-orumiyeh-drying-up/), MP3
file:
http://media.blubrry.com/world/p/www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/media.theworld.org/audio/
090520118.mp3.
Website of the Iranian Water Resource Management Organization. (Last accessed: Sept. 18, 2012).
List of dams already-built in the Lake Urmia basin (in Farsi). http://daminfo.wrm.ir/tabularview-
fa.html?rnd=48800.
Zarghami, M. (2011). Effective watershed management; Case study of Urmia Lake, Iran. Lake and
Reservoir Management, 27(1).
Zeinoddinia, M., Tofighib, M. A., & Vafaeea, F. (2009). Evaluation of dike-type causeway impacts on
the flow and salinity regimes in Urmia Lake, Iran. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 35(1), 13-22.
... 3 In northwest of Iran, Lake Urmia, the second largest saline lake, is drying due to several reasons, including climate change, excessive groundwater extraction, lack of efficient water management, industrial and domestic overuses, dam constructions and devoting uncontrolled water sources for agricultural use. 4 Lake Urmia's drought seems to be a serious threat to the environment, the health of people, local economy, and food security. The ecosystem of the area around the lake might be completely destroyed in parallel with the lake drought. ...
Article
Background: In this study, we investigated the associations Lake Urmia’s drought to the prevalence of thyroid nodules (TNs) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among local inhabitants of the lake. Methods: In this cross-sectional study which was started in 2014, we collected data on 992 adults who participated in the Azar cohort study, in Shabestar county, Iran. The sociodemographic status, smoking, and medical history of the subjects living in the areas adjacent to (n = 163) and far from (n = 829) Lake Urmia were collected through questionnaires. After obtaining written consent, anthropometric factors and blood pressure (BP) were measured. The lipid profile and fasting blood glucose (FBG) of the respondents were measured using colorimetric methods, and all underwent thyroid examination and sonography. Furthermore, the size and characteristics of nodules were determined with a fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) method. Results: We did not find any significant difference in the prevalence of TNs between the two groups (P=0.44), whereas the prevalence of MetS were significantly higher among the subjects from the regions that were far from the Lake (P=0.04). After adjustment for confounding factors (age and gender) in both groups, low risk of TNs (OR=1.20, 95% CI:0.89-1.62) and high risk of TNs (OR=1.19, 95% CI:0.65-2.19) were not significantly associated to MetS (P>0.05). Conclusion: In this study, Lake Urmia’s drought was identified to be with no contribution to the prevalence of TNs and MetS. Therefore, long term perspective studies are suggested to reach precise results.
... To understand receding of the Urmia Lake, it is worthwhile to scrutinize previous similar cases. Although worldwide there is a long list of the seas and lakes that are depleting, we have selected to take after various studies that have done a comparison of Urmia Lake with the Aral Lake (Micklin, 2007;Hassanzadeh et al., 2012;Pengra, 2012;Garousi et al., 2013). Their selection is done because their issues are based on the reasons that are similar, and the resulting influences are almost similar, excluding the fact that the Urmia Lake was never polluted that much to reach the degree of Aral Lake pollution. ...
Article
Full-text available
Internal lakes are considered as the ecological environments and the monitoring and evaluation of which can be considered as a matter in the national development and natural resources management (Rasouli et al., 2008). The changes in the water levels of lakes and the variations of the land use and cover along with the margins and the association of these changes with natural and human factors in Urmia Lake and Aral Lake are much-discussed and taken into consideration. In this study, a comparison was made between Urmia Lake and the Aral Lake over a period of 28 years, and the first one being suffered from declining water levels and drastic changes due to many factors, including, most specifically, human intrusion and mismanagement. For this purpose, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat 5 and 8 satellite images were utilized for 1988 and 2018 and object-based image classification was applied in six classes, i.e. water body, arid, agriculture, salt marsh, salt wet and built with the acceptable accuracy of 89.23 (1988) and 85.8 (2018) percent for land use maps of the Urmia Lake and 92.46 (1988) and 95.15 (2018) percent for the Aral Lake. The overall accuracy of classification which represents the functioned credit classification for the maps should be more than 85% (Anderson et al., 1976). The classification showed that during the study period both of the lakes faced declination of water and increasing of salt levels. The trend of agricultural and built-in lands has been rising especially in Urmia Lake. Results indicated that the creation of the agricultural lands and human levels in recent decades has caused the increase in water consumption which in turn has reduced the amount of water entering to the Urmia Lake and has created hard conditions such as the dryness of the lake today.
... Satellite imagery during the recent 17-year period illustrates the water retrogradation and the expansion of saline features around the lake. As the surface water continues to shrink in size, more of the lakebed and salt will be exposed (Garousi et al. 2013). Of the serious salinization effects, one can mention the ecological threats caused by the lake bed turning into a salt-covered wasteland and the consequent soil erosion (Pitman and Läuchli 2002). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Lake Urmia is considered as the largest salt water lake in Iran. Due to climate change and human activities in the lake's basin, the salinity of the lake has risen to more than 300 g/L during recent years, and large areas of the lake bed have been desiccated. Consequently, awareness of the hydro-ecological factors during the last few decades is crucial for identifying the problems. In the present study, the impacts of changes in suspended sediment concentration and saline features are explored using satellite imagery and remote sensing. The main purpose of this study is to conduct supervised monitoring in order to evaluate the Urmia Lake crisis with regard to human-involved factors such as the construction of the causeway. The results highlight an alarming increase of saline features around the lake during the studied period, from 287.718 km² in 2000 to 3006.5 km² in 2015. Also, it is concluded that the SSC has increased in the lake during recent years. The results of this study confirm that anthropogenic factors can be considered as the main cause of the crisis.
... The Landsat satellite dataset illustrates the water retrogradation and the expansion of saline features around the lake from 2005 to 2014 (Fig. 1). More lakebed and salt will be exposed as the surface water continues to shrink (Garousi et al. 2013;Sekertekin 2020). Of the severe salinization effects, one can mention the ecological threats caused by the lake bed turning into a salt-covered wasteland and the consequent soil erosion (Pitman and Läuchli 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Urmia Lake is the largest inland water body in Iran and the second hyper-saline lake in the world. It has been designated as a “conserved region of biosphere” by UNESCO due to its environmental importance and unique aquatic ecosystem. The lake has faced a variety of natural and anthropogenic hazards in recent years and has encountered dramatic changes in its natural hydrodynamic condition. There are a number of reasons for these changes, where primary causes are increased water consumption, especially in the agricultural sector, development of water storage structures in the lake basin, construction of the causeway, climate change, global warming, and droughts. Due to changes in the lake's natural condition, the study of its hydrodynamic pattern is inevitable. In this regard, the current study aims to simulate changes in the water temperature of Lake Urmia in order to study its hydrodynamic. MIKE hydrodynamic models are developed by DHI Water and Environment for simulation of flows in estuaries, bays, coastal areas, lakes, and oceans. To perform the simulations in this study, MIKE3 model was used. In the modeling process, the flow simulation is carried out simultaneously with the heat transfer model, covering all the hydrodynamic conditions of the lake. In order to simulate water temperature and its effects on the lake hydrodynamics in the MIKE model, density is considered as a function of temperature, then the heat transfer equations are solved at each time step. The forces governing the hydrodynamic equations include wind, air pressure, tide, wave, and Coriolis forces. However, the forces governing heat transfer/diffusion equations are of a different nature. Air temperature, relative humidity, and clearness coefficient are important inputs for the simulation of changes in the water temperature in the lake. Due to the high accuracy of the obtained values, ECMWF model data were used in the model. The validity of the numerical model was also assessed by comparing the simulated results against satellite data. The information is provided by the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST). In this group, global sea surface temperature data are generated using a multi-scale two-dimensional variational (MS-2DVAR) blending algorithm. These sea surface temperature data are obtained from various satellites with multiple sensors (such as AVHRR, AATSR, SEVIRI, AMSRE, TMI, MODIS, GOES, MTSAT-1R, etc.). In this study, changes in the water temperature of Lake Urmia were simulated in order to study its hydrodynamic condition. Initially, the data used to simulate water temperature changes are presented. These data included air temperature, relative humidity, and clearness coefficient. Due to the high accuracy and generalizability of the ECMWF model output to the entire computational domain, the output of this model was used to obtain the above data. MIKE3 hydrodynamic model was used to perform the simulations. In order to investigate the effects of precipitation, evaporation, and rivers discharge on water temperature changes, two models, one with and the other without considering these factors were implemented. The water temperatures were compared in these two models. The results showed that water temperature values were approximately the same for the two cases. Also, a comparison between the water temperature output results at different depths revealed that due to the low depth of the lake, the temperature difference between the surface layer and the near-bed layer was low and reached a maximum of 0.2 °C. In addition, GHRSST satellite data was used to validate the model results. Evaluations indicated that the model results were in good agreement with the measured data, and seasonal variations in lake surface temperature were also well simulated. Moreover, the effect of causeway on the spatiotemporal distribution of lake water temperature has been investigated. For this purpose, simulation of temperature changes was considered over a one-year period. The results demonstrated that the water temperature of the lake did not change significantly in both with and without causeway, and the temperature exchange between northern and southern parts of the lake occurred in both conditions. Hence, this model can be used as an efficient tool to assess the effect of causeway on the flow pattern, salinity distribution and sedimentation process in both parts of the lake.
... Lake Urmia is considered as one of the country's most important aquatic habitats and has experienced significant changes in recent years due to various factors, such as the climate changes (Abbaspour et al., 2012), anthropogenic activities (Zeinoddini et al., 2009) and the lack of a comprehensive management approach (Garousi et al., 2013) in the Lake Basin. Hence, the evaluation of changes in its different characteristics during decades is of great importance. ...
Article
The act of processing satellite data and remote sensing methods provides valuable information to conduct a comprehensive monitoring those which are fruitful and crucial for ecological management of the lakes. Therefore, the analyzed spatial-temporal information of the lakes can be considered as the fundamental unknowns in water resource studies of the watersheds. However, there is no exact information about the spatial changes of the numerous small lakes and wetlands, located around the world. Lake Urmia is considered as one of the country’s most important aquatic habitats and has experienced significant changes in recent years due to various factors, such as climate changes, anthropogenic activities and the lack of a comprehensive management approach in the Lake Basin. Hence, the evaluation of changes in its different characteristics during decades is of great importance. In this study, changes in key parameters such as sea surface temperature, saline features and vegetation are studied using satellite imagery, remote sensing and fieldwork. The results highlighted an alarming surface water decrease during the analysis period. Furthermore, saline features have been increased dramatically due to vegetation growth and a relative decrease in precipitation. Also, the temperature of the lake water surface experienced a relative increase whether in warm or cold seasons, during the study period. The main purpose of this study is to conduct a supervised monitoring in order to evaluate Lake Urmia crisis in regard to human-involved factors such as the effects of the agriculture sector and the construction of the causeway bridge. Providing a comprehensive spatial database to determine the impact of each parameter on the Lake Urmia crisis is another objective of this study.
... Between 1996 and 2016, the UL's extend decreased by about 70% and its volume by about 90% (Sheibani et al. 2020). These changes have led to adverse effects such as the creation of salty playas and salt dust areas around the UL (Garousi et al. 2013;Amiri et al. 2017). Studies show that human activities such as uncontrolled abstraction of surface and groundwater (Chaudhari et al. 2018;Khazaei et al. 2019;Amiri et al. 2021c; Amiri and Nakagawa 2021) and climate change (Arkian et al. 2018;Schulz et al. 2020) are the most important controlling factors in shrinking this lake. ...
Article
This study evaluated the hydrogeological status of the route for the water transmission tunnel from the Kanisib Dam to the Urmia Lake (UL) in northwestern Iran. The volume of water inflow into the tunnel was additionally predicted by the analytical, empirical, and numerical methods. The data used in this study were collected from geophysical analysis, borehole drilling, pressure changes at different depths of aquifers using composite piezometers, Lefranc permeability test, and pumping test. Based on the distribution of permeability, this route is divided into ten hydrogeological zones. Accordingly, the highest amount of water inflow into the tunnel is expected to occur in the middle sections of the tunnel route. The water inflow calculated by analytical, experimental, and numerical methods in this zone are about 20, 8, and 38 L/s per 12-m length of the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM) shield, respectively. The results show that zones 4, 5, and 6 have more potential in terms of water entering the tunnel. They can be considered critical hydrogeological zones that require more technical and control considerations to prevent water leakage into the tunnel area and reduction in drilling speed or possible damage to equipment. The measured water inflow rate in the drilled zones showed that the numerical and analytical calculations have good accuracy in estimating the water inflow rate into the tunnel.
... The Landsat satellite dataset illustrates the water retrogradation and the expansion of saline features around the lake from 2005 to 2014 (Fig. 1). More lakebed and salt will be exposed as the surface water continues to shrink (Garousi et al. 2013;Sekertekin 2020). Of the severe salinization effects, one can mention the ecological threats caused by the lake bed turning into a salt-covered wasteland and the consequent soil erosion (Pitman and Läuchli 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
Different sensing methods provide valuable information for comprehensive monitoring strategies, which are crucial for the ecological management of lakes and watersheds. Subsequently, the resulting spatio-temporal information can be considered the fundamental knowledge for the water resources management of watersheds. Lake Urmia is deemed one of the most important aquatic habitats in Iran. It has been experiencing significant changes during recent years due to climate change, anthropogenic activities, and a lack of coherent management approaches. Hence, awareness of the hydro-ecological factors during the last few decades is critical for identifying the problems. In this research, the impacts of changes in key parameters such as precipitation, evapotranspiration, water surface temperatures, suspended sediment concentration, saline features, and vegetation are explored using satellite imagery. The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the Lake Urmia crisis concerning human-involved and climate factors such as the agriculture sector and construction of the causeway. In this regard, a limbic-based Emotional Artificial Neural Network (EANN) is developed as a non-linear universal mapping and implemented for the first time to demonstrate the interactions between the considered hydro-ecological factors and the sensitivity of the two indicators the lake health. Providing a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis is another objective of this study to detect the onset of deterioration in the parameters. The values of the efficiency criteria were measured to evaluate the sensitivity of the EANN models to the related inputs. The results of the model in scenario 4 with evapotranspiration, precipitation, runoff and vegetation as input variables led to higher performance with the best efficiency criteria, including DC = 0.868 and RMSE = 0.096. The quantitative results confirm that the combination of both climate and anthropogenic factors, including the agricultural sector's overdraft, leads to the most efficient EANN model and, consequently, is considered the leading cause of the crisis.
... It is suggested that the surfaces of the dried-up lakebed, which are exposed to wind erosion, have become an active source of salt-rich dust emissions causing the increase in soil salinity, disruption of lake biota, increase in soil albedo, and decrease in agricultural productivity in the area (Alizade Govarchin Ghale et al., 2017;Effati et al., 2019;Gorji et al., 2020). Additionally, it is reported that such phenomena originating from the lakebed has also played a role in the spread of respiratory, skin, and cardiovascular diseases for populated areas within the radius of 250 km from the lake (Micklin, 2007;Garousi et al., 2013;Sotoudeheian et al., 2016;Danesh-Yazdi and Ataie-Ashtiani, 2019;Gorji et al., 2020;Harati et al., 2021). However, insights into how these various processes collectively fit together to reinforce the lock-in and what may be the critical or ignored feedbacks deepening the lake desiccation issue have been less clear. ...
Article
Understanding of how anthropogenic droughts occur in socio-hydrological systems is critical in studying resilience of these systems. This is especially relevant when a “lock-in” toward lake desiccation occurs as an emergent outcome of coupling among social dynamics and surface and underground water processes. How the various processes collectively fit together to reinforce such a lock-in and what may be a critical or ignored feedback worsening the state of the socio-hydrological systems remains poorly understood. Here we tackle this gap by focusing on the case of Lake Urmia in Iran, a saline lake that faces the same fate as that of Aral Sea due to over-extraction of water sources that feed the lake. We develop an integrative, system-level understanding of how various anthropogenic and surface and underground environmental processes collectively generate the water scarcity and soil salinization issues in the study case. To this end, we investigate a paradoxical phenomenon wherein the increase of soil salinity has not noticeably affected the level of vegetation cover in Lake Urmia Basin. The outcome of our analysis may provide useful insights for informing policymakers how to cope with drought and water scarcity issues in many fragile saline lakes around the world that are currently under threat by overexploitation.
... Due to climate change and drought together with the damming and poor water management impacts on aquatic ecosystems in Iran, a critical/significant drop in both lentic and underground water levels has been occurred in recent decades. In case of the Lake Urmia in northwest of Iran, the third largest saltwater lake around the earth, more than 70% of the lake surface areas have already dried due to poor water management and construction of 48+ dams (Garousi et al. 2013). However, similar dams' impacts are assessable for other lakes/wetlands in Iranian water basins, e.g. ...
Chapter
Various impacts of dams on aquatic organisms have been well documented in the recent past. The construction of a dam can make significant changes in the ecosystem of a river and particularly affect fish communities including obstruct the upward migration, reduce the genetic diversity and affect morphology, reproduction and growth indices, etc. After China and Turkey, Iran is the third country in dam construction in the world. Construction of dams is essential for socio-economic development in an arid country like Iran. Dams construction started since 1950s in Iran, which to date there are more than 600 (big and small) constructed dams reported from the country. Despite various benefits, construction of dams has also many assessable negative environmental impacts particularly on fishes. About 300 fish species (≅ 100 endemics) listed from water basins of Iran, which the fauna is mostly affected by the dams. The damming and its effects on fish populations in Iran is reviewed. As a result, almost no environmental considerations (in relation with ichthyofauna) have been observed in the damming, such that these dams normally designed and constructed without any fishways or fish ladders. Therefore, the dams mainly could (1) change aquatic ecosystems, (2) make limitation for downstream dispersal and blocking the upstream migration altogether, (3) periodically dried out downstream, (4) produce morphologically/genetically different populations in up and downstream and (5) affect the growth indices and reproductive characteristics, etc. Also, the introduction of non-native/invasion fishes into the reservoirs is an important threat for native fish communities. The diadromous species within the families Acipenseridae, Cyprinidae, Gobiidae, Petromyzontidae and Salmonidae were negatively affected by dams, whereas some native cyprinids and loaches those threatened by the drought were positively associated with the damming, where they could survive themselves in the reservoirs. It can be concluded that dams in Iran have negatively affected native – especially migratory – fish species by blocking their migration routes, whereas favouring non-native/invasion fish species, or altering existing aquatic habitats. Conservation programmes favouring native/endemic fishes in the constructed dams are strongly recommended, and fishways should be mandatory in the under construction/planned dams.
Article
Full-text available
Lake Urmia (LU) is considered as the largest salt water lake in Iran and has severe restrictions on water resources and becoming a salt lake increasingly. The LU drought will Couse ecological, health, social and economic problems. Land-use change and the increasing of salt areas evaluated in this work using satellite imagery. We evaluated the present situation and changes of the lake area in the past and further changes until 2025. The results indicated that from 1987 to 2000, the process of change has slowed down and less than 2% of the lake's water area was reduced, and from 2000 to 2010, these shrinking processes were faster and more than 28% of the lake water area disappeared. The intensity of the shrinking from 2010 to 2014 is very severe. Using the Land Transformation Model, the continuation of the changes was modeled until 2025. The results of the modeling indicate the conversion of the water lake to salt lake in this period, and in the north part, the shallow waters occupy 0.7% of the total lake area. The result shows that climate change was not the significant factors for drying up of the lake but human factors such as building dams to store water for irrigation, increasing groundwater use by established deeper wells for agricultural irrigation were the important factors for drying. With changing of management of the waters leading to the lake and the transfer of new water resources to the lake between 2014 and 2016, the area of the lake increased to a double. It was evident that by proper planning and managing of water resources, the lake's restoration can be achieved.
Article
Full-text available
In this study some thermodynamic parameters including freezing point, boiling point and the vapor pressure of Urmia Lake salt water were investigated as some important environmentally monitored physicochemical properties of Urmia Lake. In this regard salt concentration is chiefly responsible for the modification of the thermodynamic properties of Urmia Lake water which affects its overall environmental and ecological characteristics. On the other hand, the Urmia Lake is now supposed to be the most convenient place for many rare aquatic species and therefore interpreted to be unique from the viewpoint of qualitative characteristics. For the goals of this study water sampling and analysis where performed in two wet and dry periods of the lake in order to represent the extremes of the lake's environmental variability. Prevailing chemical ions in the water body were determined and used for the estimation of the relative thermodynamic coefficients of salt water for the acquisition of the freezing point, boiling point and the vapor pressure of the Urmia Lake water. Interpolated calibration curves were plotted for the changes in the studied parameters versus a variety of salt concentrations indicating a linear relationship between the investigated parameters and the prevailing salt concentration of the Urmia Lake. The calibration curves were then formulated to simplify the estimation of the thermodynamic parameters of the Urmia Lake for any salinity conditions. Real sample analysis also showed a very good agreement between the estimated and observed values.
Article
Full-text available
In this study some thermodynamic parameters including freezing point, boiling point and the vapor pressure of Urmia Lake salt water were investigated as some important environmentally monitored physicochemical properties of Urmia Lake. In this regard salt concentration is chiefly responsible for the modification of the thermodynamic properties of Urmia Lake water which affects its overall environmental and ecological characteristics. On the other hand, the Urmia Lake is now supposed to be the most convenient place for many rare aquatic species and therefore interpreted to be unique from the viewpoint of qualitative characteristics. For the goals of this study water sampling and analysis where performed in two wet and dry periods of the lake in order to represent the extremes of the lake’s environmental variability. Prevailing chemical ions in the water body were determined and used for the estimation of the relative thermodynamic coefficients of salt water for the acquisition of the freezing point, boiling point and the vapor pressure of the Urmia Lake water. Interpolated calibration curves were plotted for the changes in the studied parameters versus a variety of salt concentrations indicating a linear relationship between the investigated parameters and the prevailing salt concentration of the Urmia Lake. The calibration curves were then formulated to simplify the estimation of the thermodynamic parameters of the Urmia Lake for any salinity conditions. Real sample analysis also showed a very good agreement between the estimated and observed values.
Article
Full-text available
Urmia Lake is one of the wonders of today world and unfortunately is in the danger of drying in a near future. In this paper we investigated the factors which caused this drought using statistical data and tried to understand what kind of effects and disadvantages we will encounter with, if this process continues. In this way we used experiences from global and regional examples. And finally possible solutions for this environmental problem were investigated and it was tried to determine benefits and disadvantages of each method and suggest the best method for performing.
Book
Such diverse thinkers as Lao-Tze, Confucius, and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have all pointed out that we need to be able to tell the difference between real and assumed knowledge. The systematic review is a scientific tool that can help with this difficult task. It can help, for example, with appraising, summarising, and communicating the results and implications of otherwise unmanageable quantities of data. This book, written by two highly-respected social scientists, provides an overview of systematic literature review methods: Outlining the rationale and methods of systematic reviews; Giving worked examples from social science and other fields; Applying the practice to all social science disciplines; It requires no previous knowledge, but takes the reader through the process stage by stage; Drawing on examples from such diverse fields as psychology, criminology, education, transport, social welfare, public health, and housing and urban policy, among others. Including detailed sections on assessing the quality of both quantitative, and qualitative research; searching for evidence in the social sciences; meta-analytic and other methods of evidence synthesis; publication bias; heterogeneity; and approaches to dissemination.
Article
Abstract Urmia Lake, the second largest hyper-saline lake by area in the world, has fluctuated in salinity over time, but recently, it has reached a maximum of 360 g/l. Dunaliella is a type of halophile green-orange microalgae especially found in lake and salty fields and is known for its antioxidant activity; because of its ability to create large amount of carotenoids. In the present study, Dunaliella sp. isolates from hypersaline Urmia Lake water were cultured in modified Johnson media and were treated at different salinities (1, 2 and ...
Article
This paper presents an overview of a study on the design and analysis aspects of the Lake U r m i a Bridge in Iran. For y ears there have been several detailed investigations on this subject. Here, these alternatives are discussed and, then, results of analyses for a p roposed solution, a bridge, are presented. These aspects include environmental loads, structure and the mooring system.
Article
Lake Urmia, a large, hypersaline lake in north‐western Iran, experiences large fluctuations in water level, and hence also surface area. At present, the water level is falling and the surface area contracting alarmingly. One important determinant of the water level of the lake is shown to be large‐scale atmospheric circulation, expressed in terms of objective circulation weather types (CWTs), acting on the lake via regional precipitation and air temperature (as a proxy for evaporation). Seasonal changes in lake level, along with seasonal gridded precipitation and air temperature data, are shown to be strongly related to the frequency of occurrence of different CWTs. Copyright © 2011 Royal Meteorological Society
Article
Urmia Lake (salt lake in northwest of Iran) plays a valuable role in environment, wildlife and economy of Iran and the region, and now faces great challenges for survival. The Lake is in immediate and great danger and rapidly going to become salty desert. During the recent years and new heat wave, Iran, like many other countries are experiencing, is faced with relativity reduced rain fall. From a few years ago environment activists warned about potential dangers. Geodetic measurements, e.g., repeated leveling measurements of first order leveling network of Iran and continuous GPS measurements of Iranian Permanent GPS network of Iran (IPGN) showed that there is subsidence in surrounding areas of the lake. This paper investigates the relation between subsidence and climate changing in the area, using the wavelet coherence of the data of permanent GPS stations and daily methodological data. The results show that there is strong coherence between the subsidence phenomena induced by GPS data and climate warming from January 2009 up to end of August 2009. However, relative lake height variations computed from altimetry observations (TOPEX/POSEIDON (T/P), Jason-1 and Jason-2/OSTM) confirms maximum evaporation rates of the lake in this period.