Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Sultan

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan E. Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Y Eugene Yan

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Rising demands for fresh water supplies are leading to water management practices that are altering natural flow systems world-wide. One of the most devastated of these natural systems is the Tigris-Euphrates watershed that over the past three decades has witnessed the construction of over 60 engineering projects that eliminated seasonal flooding, reduced natural flow and dramatically reduced the areal extent (1966: 11000 km2 ; 2002: 750 km2) of the Mesopotamian Marshes downstream. We constructed a continuous (1964 to 1998) catchment-based rainfall runoff model for the entire Tigris-Euphrates watershed (area: one million km2) using the SWAT model to understand the dynamics of the natural flow system, and to investigate the impacts of reduced overall flow and the related LCLUC downstream in the marshes. Using the calibrated model we calculated the monthly average flow rate (MAFR) and annual flow volume (AFV) of the Tigris and Euphrates into the marshes at a location near Basra city (31 °N, 47.5°E). Model results indicate that diminishing flows in both rivers over the decades due to major damming projects have had the most detrimental affects on the Mesopotaminan Marshlands. If current water usage schemes continue to develop to Mashlands will only continue to diminish.

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