South West Asia Project

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The South West Asia Project (SWAP) is a multi-year project at the Yale Center for Earth Observation originally funded by the NASA/MTPE Interdisciplinary Science Initiative. The objective of SWAP is to quantify and monitor the processes shaping the landscapes of Southwest Asia.

The current phase of SWAP is focused toward understanding the water cycle in the Euphrates-Tigris watershed. This new phase of the project is funded through NASA's Office of Earth Science. This water cycle study addresses the central question: How sensitive is the hydrologic system in the Euphrates-Tigris catchment to local changes in land use/land cover and interannual climatic variability?

Major components of the SWAP research efforts include:
  • The Observational Climatology project provides an on-line view of various climatology variables from 1979 through 1996.

  • The Climate and Hydrology Modeling project is examining current and historical regional climate variables.

  • The Agricultural Systems research project is investigating changes to the landscape that result from changing agricultural practices.

  • The Range Lands project concentrates on correlating satellite-acquired signatures to biophysical parameters, and how these can be used to describe important range parameters such as condition and carrying capacity. The results are being used to improve the monitoring of degradation/desertification processes, to model and make projections on vegetation growth, and to make satellite-supported range management strategies more sound and efficient.

  • The Landcover classification project is investigating the sensitivity of classification techniques to various input parameters.

  • The Hyperspectral and Hyperspatial Analysis project is investigating the use of new sensor technologies to analyze agricultural crops. The dramatic increase in both spectral and spatial resolutions should improve crop management and enhance precision farming techniques.

SWAP Background:

Previous SWAP Research Activities:



SWAP region

Euphrates/Tigris catchment map
The red line indicates the Euphrates-Tigris catchment.

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Last update: 07 October 2009
This page is maintained by Jason Evans