Using MODIS snow cover maps in modeling snowmelt runoff process in the eastern part of Turkey

Tekeli, AE
Akyürek, Sevda Zuhal
Sorman, AA
Sensoy, A
Sorman, AU
Water perhaps is the most valuable natural asset in the Middle East as it was a historical key for settlement and survival in Mesopotamia, "the land between two rivers". At present, the Euphrates and Tigris are the two largest trans-boundary rivers in Western Asia where Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are the riparian countries. The Euphrates and Tigris basins are largely fed from snow precipitation whereby nearly two-thirds occur in winter and may remain in the form of snow for half of the year. The concentration of discharge mainly from snowmelt during spring and early summer months causes not only extensive flooding, inundating large areas, but also the loss of much needed water required for irrigation and power generation purposes during the summer season. Accordingly, modeling of snow-covered area in the mountainous regions of Eastern Turkey, as being one of the major headwaters of Euphrates-Tigris basin, has significant importance in order to forecast snowmelt discharge especially for energy production, flood control, irrigation and reservoir operation optimization.