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


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2022, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 210-221

Assessment of Shardara Reservoir siltation during 1999–2021 using satellite data (Syrdarya River, Kazakhstan)

N.N. Abayev 1, 2 , G.N. Sagatdinova 1 , Yu.A. Maglinets 3 , A.G. Terekhov 1 
1 Institute of Information and Computational Technologies, Almaty, Kazakhstan
2 RSE Kazhydromet, Almaty, Kazakhstan
3 SibFU Institute of Space and Information Technologies, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Accepted: 24.08.2022
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2022-19-5-210-221
The Shardara Reservoir (Kazakhstan) with a volume of 5.2 km3, built in 1967 on the Syrdarya River in the Aral Sea basin, is the last in the chain of the Naryn-Syrdarya cascade of hydroelectric power plants. The lower, flat part of the river basin is composed of loess-like sandy loams and loams. This leads, due to the erosion of the riverbed, to the formation of a significant runoff of suspended and bottom sediments in the Syrdarya River, which enter into the Shardara Reservoir bed. The Reservoir operates in irrigation mode and is triggered almost annually below the dead volume horizon. In this case, a significant part of the Reservoir bottom is drained and satellite diagnostics of long-term changes in its relief becomes possible, which is associated with the activity of silting processes. Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM+ and Landsat-8 OLI data of two periods: 1999–2002 (13 scenes) and 2020–2021 (21 scenes) were used to monitor the distribution of the Reservoir water mirror at different water levels The Normalized Water Difference Index (NDWI) was used to recognize the Reservoir water mirror. The shorelines altitude was equated to the average daily water level altitude in the Reservoir, registered at the RSE Kazhydromet hydro station, ID-16910 (Res. Shardara – Shardara city) on the day of the satellite overpass. Changes in the distribution of the Reservoir water mirror at various water levels that occurred over 20 years allowed us to assess the activity of the processes of silting of the Reservoir bottom. As a result of the conducted research, multidirectional silting trends were registered. Changes in the Reservoir water regime, and in particular, the construction in 2011 of an additional irrigation canal with water intake in the southeastern part of the Reservoir, led to the erosion of a part of river sediments in this zone. In general, the silting degree of the periodically drained bottom of the Shardara Reservoir over the past 20 years has turned out to be insignificant, only (+4.4 cm), which corresponds to the rate of accumulation of river sediments of 1.3±0.5 million m3 per year. Apparently, this is facilitated by the technical possibility and regular practice of triggering the Reservoir below the horizon of the dead volume, as well as the construction of a machine channel pumping water and suspensions from the upper part of the Reservoir.
Keywords: remote sensing, reservoir silting, Landsat, shoreline position, river sediments
Full text


  1. Mukhamedjanov I. D., Konstantinova A. M., Loupian E. A., Umirzakov G. U., Evaluation of satellite monitoring capabilities of stream runoff based on the Amu Darya River state analysis, Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2022, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 87–103 (in Russian), DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2022-19-1-87-103.
  2. Terekhov A. G., Pak A. A., Influence of the Kapshagay Reservoir (China) refill on transboundary River Ile runoff and satellite-based forecasting, Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2019, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 298–302 (in Russian), DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2019-16-4-298-302.
  3. Terekhov A. G., Pak I. T., DolgikhS. A., Hydrology monitoring of Kapchagay Reservoir on River Tekes (China’s part of River Ile basin) based on Landsat-5, -7, -8 data and DEM batymetry, Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2015, Vol. 12, No. 6, pp. 174–182 (in Russian).
  4. Terekhov A. G., Abayev N. N., Lagutin E. I., Satellite monitoring of the Sardoba Reservoir in Syr Darya River basin (Uzbekistan) before and after a dam collapses on May 1, 2020, Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 255–260 (in Russian), DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-3-255-260.
  5. Annandale G. W., Reservoir sedimentation, New York: Elsevier Science Publ., 1987, 220 p.
  6. Arifjanov A. M., Apakhujaeva T. A., Húska D., Sediment movement mode in rivers of Uzbekistan — environmental aspects, Acta Horticulturae et Regiotecturae, 2018, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 10–12, DOI: 10.2478/ahr-2018-0003.
  7. Borland W. M., Miller C. R., Distribution of sediment in large reservoirs, Trans. American Society of Civil Engineers, 1960, Vol. 125, No. 1, pp. 166–180.
  8. Cieśla M., Gruca-Rokosz R., Bartoszek L., The Connection between a Suspended Sediments and Reservoir Siltation: Empirical Analysis in the Maziarnia Reservoir, Poland, Resources, 2020, Vol. 9, Issue 3, Art. No. 30, DOI: 10.3390/resources9030030.
  9. Dadoria D., Tiwari H. L., Jaiswal R. K., Assessment of reservoir sedimentation in Chhattisgarh State using remote sensing and GIS, Intern. J. Civil Engineering and Technology, 2017, Vol. 8, Issue 4, pp. 526–534.
  10. Fan J., Morris G. L. (1992a), Reservoir sedimentation I: Delta and density current deposits, J. Hydraulic Engineering, 1992, Vol. 118, pp. 354–369.
  11. Fan J., Morris G. L. (1992b), Reservoir sedimentation II: Reservoir Desiltation and long-term storage capacity, J. Hydraulic Engineering, 1992, Vol. 118, pp. 370–384.
  12. Foteh R., Garg V., Nikam B. R., Khadatare M. Y., Aggarwal S. P., Kumar A. S., Reservoir Sedimentation Assessment Through Remote Sensing and Hydrological Modelling, J. Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 2018, Vol. 46, pp. 1893–1905, DOI: 10.1007/s12524-018-0843-6.
  13. Goel M., Jain S. K., Evaluation of reservoir sedimentation using multi-temporal IRS-1A LISS II data, J. Asian-Pacific Remote Sensing and GIS, 1996, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 39–43.
  14. Kobayashi S., Koshiba T., Sumi T., Current and future study topics on reservoir sediment management by bypass tunnels, J. Disaster Research, 2018, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 668–676, DOI: 10.20965/jdr.2018.p0668.
  15. Lee C., Foster G., Assessing the potential of reservoir outflow management to reduce sedimentation using continuous turbidity monitoring and reservoir modelling: Continuous turbidity to assess reservoir sedimentation, Hydrologycal Process, 2013, Vol. 27, Issue 10, pp. 1426–1439, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9284.
  16. Mama C, Okafor F., Siltation in reservoirs, Nigerian J. Technology, 2011, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 85–90.
  17. McFeeters S. K., The use of the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) in the delineation of open water features, Intern. J. Remote Sensing, 1996, Vol. 17, Issue 7, pp. 1425–1432, DOI: 10.1080/0143116908948714.
  18. Morris G. L., Classification of Management Alternatives to Combat Reservoir Sedimentation, Water, 2020, Vol. 12, Issue 3, Art. No. 861, DOI: 10.3390/w12030861.
  19. Onda C., Sumi T., Asahi T., Planning and analysis of sedimentation countermeasures in hydropower dams considering properties of reservoir sedimentation, J. Disaster Research, 2018, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 702–708, DOI: 10.20965/jdr.2018.p0702.
  20. Podger G. M., Mobin-ud-Din A., Yingying Yu., Joel P. S., Syed M. M. A. S., Zarif I. Kh., Development of the Indus River System Model to Evaluate Reservoir Sedimentation Impacts on Water Security in Pakistan, Water, 2021, Vol. 13, Issue 7, Art. No. 895, DOI: 10.3390/w13070895.
  21. Santhoshi P., Kunar S., Assessment of Sedimentation in Maithon Reservoir using Remote Sensing and GIS, Indian J. Ecology, 2021, Vol. 48, Issue 4, pp. 1001–1004.
  22. Sorg A., Mosello B., Shalpykova G., Allan A., Clarvis M. H., Stoffel M., Coping with changing water resources: The case of the Syr Darya river basin in Central Asia, Environmental Science and Policy, 2014, Vol. 43, pp. 68–77, DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2013.11.003.
  23. Tamene L., Park S. J., Dikau R., Vlek P. L. G., Reservoir siltation in the semi-arid highlands of northern Ethiopia: sediment yield-catchment area relationship and a semi-quantitative approach for predicting sediment yield. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, J. British Geomorphological Research Group, 2006, Vol. 31, Issue 11, pp. 1364–1383, DOI: 10.1002/esp.1338.
  24. Terekhov A., Makarenko N., Pak A., Abayev N., Using the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and coastlines for satellite monitoring of small reservoir filling, Cogent Engineering, 2020, Vol. 7, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/23311916.2020.1853305.
  25. Terêncio D. P. S., Cortes R. M. V., Pacheco F. A. L., Moura J. P., Fernandes L. F. S., A Method for Estimating the Risk of Dam Reservoir Silting in Fire-Prone Watersheds: A Study in Douro River, Portugal, Water, 2020, Vol. 12, Issue 11, Art. No. 2959, DOI: 10.3390/w12112959.
  26. Vishwakarma Y., Tiwari H. L., Jaiswal R. K., Assessment of Reservoir Sedimentation Using Remote Sensing Technique with GIS Model- A Review, Intern. J. Engineering and Management Research, 2015, Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 411–417.
  27. Yang X., Wang N., Chen A., He J., Hua T., Qie Y., Changes in area and water volume of the Aral Sea in the arid Central Asia over the period of 1960–2018 and their causes, Catena, 2020, Vol. 191, Art. No. 104566, DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2020.104566.