Modelling Approaches to Understand Salinity Variations in a Highly Dynamic Tidal River: The Case of the Shatt al-Arab River, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Modelling Approaches to Understand Salinity Variations in a Highly Dynamic Tidal River

The Case of the Shatt al-Arab River, 1st Edition

By Ali Dinar Abdullah

CRC Press

145 pages

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This book reports the first systematic monitoring and modelling study on water availability, water quality and seawater intrusion of the Shatt al-Arab River (SAR) on the border of Iraq and Iran, where causes and concentration levels of salinity have not yet been fully understood, let alone addressed, leading to conflicting perceptions of its origin (external or internal), the natural conditions and the practices that can explain the current critical conditions. Current scientific knowledge on the SAR salinity problem is deficient, partially due to the complex and dynamic interaction between marine and terrestrial salinity sources, including return flows by water users of the different water sectors in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers upstream of the SAR.

The development of a new series of monitoring stations and various modelling approaches helped to better understand the interactions between these different sources. The comprehensive and detailed dataset formed the basis for a validated analytical model that can predict the extent of seawater relative to other salinity sources in an estuary, and for a hydrodynamic model that can predict salinity changes. The adaptability of the models to changing conditions makes them directly applicable by water managers. The procedure can be applied to other comparable systems.

Table of Contents


1 Introduction

1.1 Background

1.1.1 Water availability and water scarcity

1.1.2 Seawater intrusion

1.1.3 Water Resources Management

1.1.4 Water Allocation

1.1.5 Environmental Flow and Water Quality

1.1.6 The need to consider combined salinity sources

1.2 The study area: The Shatt al-Arab River

1.3 Problem Statement

1.4 Research Approach

1.4.1 Research Objective

1.4.2 Research Questions

1.4.3 Contribution of this study

2 Research methods and material

2.1 Research process

2.2 Monitoring design and materials

2.2.1 Water and salinity levels

2.2.2 Boat measurement method

2.2.3 River discharge and geometry

2.2.4 Water quality parameters

2.3 Quantitative Evaluation

2.4 Simulation Model

2.4.1 Analytical approach for estimating seawater intrusion

2.4.2 Physically based modelling for simulating combined salinity sources

2.5 Integrated use of optimization with simulation modelling for water allocation

2.6 Performance evaluation of the model

2.7 Cooperation with Local Authorities

3 Water system evaluation

3.1 Introduction

3.2 The SAR water system

3.2.1 The Euphrates River

3.2.2 The Tigris River

3.2.3 The Karkheh River

3.2.4 The Karun River

3.2.5 Mesopotamian Marshlands

3.3 Hydrology of the SAR

3.3.1 Inter-annual flow variation

3.3.2 Seasonal flows variation

3.4 Water quality

3.4.1 Temporal and spatial variation in salinity

3.4.2 Water quality variability

3.5 Water resources development and management

3.5.1 Impact of water infrastructure

3.5.2 Impact of return flows

3.6 Water security of the region: conflict versus cooperation

3.7 Conclusions

4 Quantification of salinity levels and variability

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Results of salinity analysis

4.2.1 Salinity variations along the SAR

4.2.2 Salinity dynamics at a monthly time scale

4.2.3 Daily and hourly salinity changes

4.2.4 Upstream and downstream relationships

4.2.5 Salinity changes from upstream to downstream

4.3 Discussion: factors governing the salinity variations

4.3.1 Salinity changes within reach R1

4.3.2 Salinity changes within reach R2

4.3.3 Salinity changes within reaches R3 and R4

4.3.4 Seawater intrusion length

4.4 The salinity levels and implications for the users

4.5 Conclusions and recommendations

5 Analitical approach for predicting of seawater intrusion

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Theory of the analytical model

5.3 Salinity modelling

5.3.1 Geometric characteristics

5.3.2 Vertical salinity profile

5.3.3 Longitudinal salinity profile

5.3.4 The predictive model

5.4 Conclusions

6 Impacts of combined salinity resources on the water resources management

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Material and method

6.2.1 Available data

6.2.2 Model set-up

6.2.4 Boundary conditions

6.2.5 Model calibration

6.2.6 Management scenarios

6.3 Results and discussion

6.3.1 Managing seawater intrusion

6.3.2 Managing seasonal variation

6.3.3 Impact of barrier construction

6.4 Conclusions

7 Impacts of drainage water and tidal influence on the water allocation strategies

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Model development

7.2.1 The simulation model

7.2.2 The optimization model

7.2.3 Coupling of optimization and simulation models

7.3 Results

7.3.1 Simulation-based optimization

7.3.2 The optimal solution

7.3.3 System performance

7.4 Conclusions and recommendations

8 Synthesis, conclusion, and recommendations

8.1 Water availability and demand

8.2 Water quality deterioration and the consequent impacts

8.3 Salinity dynamics

8.4 Water resources management

8.5 Contribution and innovative aspects

8.6 Recommendations and future directions


About the Author

Ali Dinar Abdullah obtained his BSc degree in Civil Engineering from Basra University, in Basra. Ali joined the Ministry of Water Resources of Iraq in 2001. He was involved in design, implementation and rehabilitation of mainly land reclamation, irrigation and drainage projects. He completed his MSc degree in Water Resources Management in 2007 at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands. His master research was on the design of operating rules for complex reservoir systems, applying artificial neural networks. In 2008 he became head of maintenance of water resource projects department in the ministry of Water Resources in Iraq, and worked primarily on the maintenance of flood protection works, water control and distribution structures, irrigation and drainage networks and main waterways. In 2012 Ali started his research on water availability and salinity changes for improved water resources management in the Shatt al-Arab River.

About the Series

IHE Delft PhD Thesis Series

IHE Delft PhD programme leads to a deepening of a field of specialisation. PhD fellows do scientific research, often with conclusions that directly influence their region. At IHE Delft, PhD researchers from around the world participate in problem-focused and solution-oriented research on development issues, resulting in an inspiring research environment. PhD fellows work together with other researchers from many countries dealing with topics related to water and the environment.

PhD research is often carried out in the ‘sandwich’ model. Preparation and final reporting – the first and last portion of the programme – are carried out in Delft, while actual research is done in the fellow’s home country, under co-supervision of a local institute. Regular contacts with the promotor are maintained through visits and long-distance communication. This enables researchers to employ solutions directly to problems in their geographical region.

IHE Delft PhD degrees are awarded jointly with a university. The degrees are highly valued and fully recognised in all parts of the world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply