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Extraction of the Spatiotemporal Extents of Environmental Impacts of Hydro-Dams

Authors: Myung Sik Cho*, Michigan State University, Jiaguo Qi, Michigan State University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Remote Sensing, Environment
Keywords: Hydro-dams, Human-environmental interactions, Environmental impact assessments, Time-series analysis, Trend Analysis, Mekong River Basin
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Many hydro-dams have been constructed to meet human requirements without knowing their accurate environmental impacts. Although many environmental impact assessments (EIAs) have been conducted to define their impacts, their assessments are insufficient because they don’t know the exact spatiotemporal extents of environmental impacts of hydro-dams. In this paper, we extracted the spatiotemporal extents of the impacts using both time-series nighttime lights images (NTL) and vegetation index (VI) with the trend analysis. In order to achieve this objective, first, we defined the temporal extents of hydro-dams using the statistical patterns of imageries. Second, we quantified the spatial extents of hydro-dams according to the temporal extents using thresholds on the trend analysis images (e.g. Mann-Kendall trend test and Sen’s slope test) which contain the temporal information of both NTL and VI respectively. We developed this method based on hydro-dams in the Mekong River Basin and validated the extents by applying to the Amazon River Basin and the Irrawaddy River Basin in order to generalize the extents. Additionally, we compared the results of EIAs with our extents and without our extents. In this paper, we suggested the exact spatiotemporal extents of the environmental impacts of hydro-dams, and it can help policymakers make better assessments and scientists conduct research regarding dams accurately.

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