Sediment flux from Lesser Zab River in Dokan Reservoir

Implications for the sustainability of long‐term water resources in Iraq

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1002/rra.3595
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Teknik och teknologier, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geoteknik, Dokan Dam, Dokan Reservoir, Sediment transport, Storage capacity, Soil Mechanics
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 6 Clean water and sanitationSDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructureSDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


Prudent management of Iraqi water resources under climate change conditions requires plans to be based on actual figures of the storage capacity of existing reservoirs. With the absence of sediment flushing measures, the actual storage capacity of Dokan Reservoir (operated since 1959) has been affected by the amount of sediment delivered during its operational life leading to an undetermined reduction in its storage capacity. In consequence, there has not been an update on the dam's operational storage capacity curves. In this research, new operational curves were established for the reservoir based on a recent bathymetric survey undertaken in 2014. The reduction in reservoir capacity during the period between 1959 and 2014 was calculated by the mean of the difference between the designed storage capacity and the storage capacity which was concluded from the 2014 bathymetric survey. Moreover, the rate of sediment transported to the reservoir was calculated based on the overall quantities of accumulated sediment and the water discharge of the Lesser Zab River into the reservoir. The results indicate that the dam capacity is reduced by 25% due to sedimentation of an estimated volume of 367 million cubic metres at water level 480 m.a.s.l. The annual sedimentation rate was about 6.6 million cubic metres, and the sediment yield was estimated to be 701.2 t∙km−3∙year.


Ammar A. Ali

College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
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Rebwar Hassan

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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Anwar Hazim Dawood

College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Koya University, Koya, Iraq
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Nadhir Al-Ansari

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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Salahalddin Ali

Department of Geology, University of Sulaimani, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. President of Komar University of Science and Technology, Komar University of Science and Technology, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
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Sven Knutsson

Luleå tekniska universitet; Geoteknologi
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