GIF: Dams on Yangtze (Three Gorges) and Euphrates

NASA reminded me again of its satellite images of the Three Gorges Dam before and after the construction of the dam. Here below I dug up the before and after images and present in a simple GIF, watch for the tremendous expansion of the water surface on the Yangtze River and its numerous tributaries in this mountainous region:

Three Gorges Dam: 2000-2006 Views from Satellite (via NASA)

Three Gorges Dam: 2000-2006 Views from Satellite (via NASA)

Here below is another extreme case of changes, the human extraction of water largely contributing to the sudden shrinking of reservoir along the Euphrates River:

Shrinking of Qadisiyah Reservoir between 2006 and 2009 (via NASA)

Shrinking of Qadisiyah Reservoir between 2006 and 2009 (via NASA)

Scientists using the twin gravity-measuring satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)have found that a large portion of the Middle East lost freshwater reserves rapidly during the past decade. The research team observed the Tigris and Euphrates river basins—including parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran—and found that 117 million acre feet (144 cubic kilometers) of fresh water was lost from 2003 to 2009. That amount is roughly equivalent to the volume of the Dead Sea. About 60 percent of the loss was attributed to the pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs.


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