Analyzing human impacts on the quality and quantity of river water.

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, Tellus Stage. Remote connection:

Topic of the dissertation

Analyzing human impacts on the quality and quantity of river water.

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Navid Yaraghi

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit

Subject of study

Environmental Engineering


Professor Amir Aghakouchak, University of California, Irvine


Professor Björn Klöve, University of Oulu

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Analyzing human impacts on the quality and quantity of river water.

Human activities endanger the role of rivers as one of the most valuable freshwater sources and essential ecosystem service providers. Dam construction, agriculture, mining, industry, and landuse change can alter river water quality and the seasonal variability of river discharge, thereby deteriorating the ecological status of rivers. This doctoral thesis explores the impact of each of these activities on river water quality and quantity, and suggests new frameworks and indicators which can be used to enhance the understanding of human impacts on rivers.

Two case studies presented here investigated the impact of small reservoirs and multiple dam construction – in connection with land-use change – on river flow characteristics in arid/semi-arid and Mediterranean climates (Iran and Turkey). A third case study analyzed the impact of mining on river water quality in a pristine river in an Arctic region (Finnish Lapland) and proposed a new indicator to enhance the monitoring system.

This thesis brings awareness to the potential impact of multiple activities on river systems and delivers new methods to quantify those impacts with minimum cost and maximum effectiveness. The framework presented here could be used by researchers and authorities to monitor river health in different climates.
Last updated: 1.3.2023