Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Technology- Civil Engineering Department, Baghdad, Iraq.

2 Civil Engineering Department, Nahrain University, Baghdad, Iraq.


Wetland landscape characterization is an important component of determining the degree to which wetlands improve environmental conditions. The present study aims to create a model used to automated extraction of the land cover of the western part of the Al-Hammar Marsh south of Iraq, and then monitor the change in land cover overtime. A model builder in ArcGIS created based on a series of spectral-based indices included the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Normalized Difference Moisture Index (NDMI), and the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), the OLI satellite images from 2013 to 2020, ENVI 5.3 and ArcGIS 10.4 were used to achieve this goal. The results were six land cover classes: water, density vegetation, medium dense vegetation, low dense vegetation, wet barren land and, dry barren land. From the monitoring of the changing trend, it is clear that there is no improvement in the vegetation area, only a slight temporal improvement to 48% in 2017, an increase in water area for the years 2019 and 2020 to 47.33%, and 42.85% from the total area of the marsh respectively. The highest percentage was in 2019 while decreasing to the lowest rate of 14.05% for the year 2018.  The developed model was accepted and can be applied for reflectance Landsat 8 data in the study area and can be applied in the southern Iraqi marshes. It also can be applied to other types of sensors, but according to determinants.


  • Used a series of spectral indices in Ecological wetland assessment.
  • Develop a satellite-based model to automated classification of the marshes land cover.
  • Spatiotemporal assessment of the efficiency of implementing restoration plans.


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