ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2018, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 191-200

An assessment of changes in land usage and their impact on Don River basin runoff using satellite imagery

M.B. Kireeva 1 , V.P. Ilich 1 , A.A. Sazonov 1 , P.G. Mikhaylyukova 1 
1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Россия
Accepted: 03.04.2018
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2018-15-2-191-200
In the past 10 years the Don River region of Russian South experienced extreme droughts. By analyzing changes in land usage in the Don basin area and taking into account geographical location and population distribution we were able to identify two possible factors responsible for water shortages. First factor is natural draughts caused by anomalous decrease in precipitation accompanied by increased rate of evaporation due to higher air temperatures. Losses of water caused by seepage during winter thaws could also contribute to this factor. The second possible factor is economic growth of the already developed region. By using the Landsat imagery archive we were able to analyze the dynamics of land usage in the Don basin. Several key periods were chosen for analysis: mid-eighties (1985–1986), mid-nineties (1995), the middle of 2000-ies (2005), and several recent years around the extreme low-flow period (2014). Next, k-means algorithm was used to clusterize images into following classes: water (rivers and ponds), vegetation (including forest, fields, grassland, arable land, fallow lands), anthropogenic objects (buildings, roads). By analyzing the dynamics of these classes during the selected time periods we conclude that changes in land usage cannot be responsible for draughts, in contrast to the decrease in precipitation.
Keywords: drought, Don, satellite imagery, dynamics of land use
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