Spatio-temporal flow regime alteration in the Mond River shows the complexity of drivers affecting the estuary-coastal system named the Mond-Protected Area in southern Iran. To this end, the authors applied river impact (RI) and Indicator of hydrological alteration (IHA) methods on monthly and daily river flow data across the basin. Based on the river impact method, a “drastic” impact below two in-operation (Tangab and Salman Farsi) dams, with RI values of 0.02 and 0.08, diminish to a ‘severe’ impact with RI value of 0.35 at the last gauge (Ghantareh) on the main corridor of the Mond river due to the addition of flow from a large mid-basin (about 20,254 km2). Furthermore, the degree of hydrological alteration (daily flow analysis) at mid-stream (e.g., Dehram gauges) was similar to the unregulated upstream tributaries (e.g., Hanifaghan gauges).
The remote sensing analysis in the Mond Protected Area showed the prevailing impact of sea-level rise in the Persian Gulf with the inundation of the coastal area and a shift of vegetation in a landward direction which complied with standardized precipitation index (SPI) values as a meteorological drought indicator. Thus, the consequence of climate change (e.g., sea-level rise, draught) has a higher impact on the protected area than the upstream river regulation and land-use change in the Mond basin. The holistic approach and the catchment-level study allowed the authors to see the complexity of the drivers influencing the estuary-coastal system.
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