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University of Florida (2021)

Ecohydrological Degradation and Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands

Al-Quraishi, Ali Kareem Shayyish

Titre : Ecohydrological Degradation and Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands

Auteur : Al-Quraishi, Ali Kareem Shayyish

Université de soutenance : University of Florida

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2021

Résumé
The Mesopotamian Marshes (MM) of the south of Iraq encompasses large permanent and seasonal marshes of the lower basin of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In 2016, these freshwater marshes were listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO as cultural and natural sites because they are home to the old civilizations and one of the largest natural wetlands in the world and the largest wetland in the middle east. In last decades, tens of dams have been built in the Tigris and Euphrates basins in Turkey and Syria (upstream countries) ; consequently, there is a sharp decline in the annual flow of the Tigris and Euphrates that has changed the flow regime, monthly and peak river flows, and hydropattern of the marshes. Understanding the hydrologic changes in the Tigris and Euphrates basins and the influences on their ecosystem is important to identify basic steps that necessary for developing sustainable management to restore the marshes through developing and apply predictive models to estimate the water quantity that required to maintain the eco-cultural aspects in the marshes. Therefore, this dissertation includes the most important challenges of restoration of the MM. First, I gathered and reviewed the published literature about the MM in different disciplines to synthesize a picture for the drivers and the marsh responses for them. Secondly, I investigated and tested the hydrologic alterations in the climate and hydrologic variables, such as temperature, precipitation, and flow in the watershed of the Euphrates River to understand their trends and effects of climate change in the region. Thirdly, I quantified the water budget and mass balance of salt to estimate the accumulated salt in the study site after using the agriculture drainage water as an alternative water source to restore the marsh. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive picture of the main challenges of the restoration of the MM through analyzed the steps of restoration and quantified the major drivers that impede a successful restoration.

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Page publiée le 7 juin 2022