Spatially-Lagged Effects of Dams on the Environment and Society

Authors: Myung Sik Cho*, Michigan State University, Jiaguo Qi, Michigan State University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Water Resources and Hydrology, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Dams, Remote Sensing, Wetlands, Mekong, Human-environmental Interactions
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Many hydro-dams have been built in developing countries to meet their demands on water, food, and energy. Environmental impact assessments are conducted to determine potential losses from dams. Their spatial scope of consequences of dams is limited around the sites of dams. However, dams have extensive impacts on the environment and society beyond the dam sites. This study quantified the spatially-lagged effects of dams on the environment and society using various satellite sensors. As dams directly affect the hydrologic system, this study focused on wetlands, which are hydrologically related to dams, to address the consequences of dams on the environment and society. We selected the Lower Mekong River Basin as a study area because many hydro-dams have been constructed and the wetland system is closely related to the local community. This study used water level data from ICESat 1/2, water extent data from the fusion of Sentinel 1/2 and Landsat series, and land use land cover change data from the Landsat series. Through this study, we would like to identify 1) how far dams have influences beyond the sites and 2) what the influences on the environment and society are.

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