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


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 202-212

On the peculiarities of the eastern part of the former Aral Sea at the present stage from the analysis of Aqua/Terra (2000–2020), Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 satellite images

T.F. Kuzmichyova 1 
1 Marine Hydrophysical Institute RAS, Sevastopol, Russia
Accepted: 17.08.2020
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-5-202-212
In the paper, the results of analysis of images obtained from satellites Aqua/Terra (2000–2020), Landsat-8 (2013–2020) and Sentinel-2 (2017–2020) are presented. Analysis of the Aqua/Terra images showed that in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017 in the south of the Eastern Aral Sea a stream of water appeared which filled the Eastern Aral. The speeds of the front border of this stream in different years and different seasons of the same year differed. They changed from 88 to 550 m/h on average. The reservoir mirror area formed by this stream changed from 1,761 km2 (2012) to 5,673 km2 (2010). In 2015, the area of the mirror was the same as in 2008, and amounted to approximately 3,140 km2. For a detailed study of this phenomenon, images obtained from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 were analyzed. The analysis showed that the Eastern Aral Sea water filling from the south (the appearance of the stream, its development and attenuation) is well consistent with the various Amu Darya River full-flow phases. In other words, this stream appeared due to the discharge of the Amu Darya waters. In 2012, 2015 and 2017, the stream appearance, its development and attenuation occurred according to the same scenario. An analysis of the Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2 images also showed that a constant channel of a small river flowing from south to north along the meridian 59.65° E in the south of the Eastern Aral Sea appeared. It begins with two streams merged into one, the origins of which are not visible in the image, but they are located near the northern border of the former Gulf of Dzhiltyr-Bas-2. The river length from the confluence of the two streams to the coast of the sea is approximately 13.5 km. The river forms a branched delta when it flows into the Eastern Aral. A small lake is formed from this stream with an area of approximately 120 km2. The lake center gravity coordinates are approximately 44.16° N, 59.7° E. For the first time this lake appeared in 07.07.2002 and lasted a little over 3 weeks, until the end of July 2002. All cases of the appearance of this lake from 2000 to 2020 are recorded in the table given in the paper. The water flow described above appeared in the area of this lake.
Keywords: Aral Sea, south of Eastern Aral Sea, water filling from the south, Aqua/Terra, Landsat-8, Sentinel-2 satellites
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