Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences


A morpho-sedimentological and morphodynamic assessment of recent changes in the dominant physical processes in Shatt Al-Arab estuary in Iraq and their dynamic effects is an utmost necessity. Shatt Al-Arab is the main freshwater resource into the Arabian/Persian Gulf, and to southern Iraq and the surrounding agricultural areas. It also has a significant position in the economy for international ship transport, and in its geopolitical setting as it forms the border with Iran for 110 km. Contemporary human advancements have influenced the physical processes by increasing global warming and anthropogenic changes in the feeder catchment, the mouth of the river and the active/discharge channel. Previous studies have shown that the study area is flagged as one of many catchment areas controlled from upstream by hydraulic construction of dams and levees that leads to alteration in the characteristics of the channel and its mouth. In this study, a hydrodynamic strategy is developed to observe and assess the main forces that control the hydrodynamics in Shatt Al-Arab channel and its offshore area including its geomorphology, sediment transport, and seawater intrusion into the fluvial channel of Shatt Al-Arab. This study provides a new strategy using a numerical model to determine how much upstream freshwater discharge is required to manage the saltwater intrusion from downstream.

FoR codes (2008)

0405 OCEANOGRAPHY, 040602 Glaciology, 040603 Hydrogeology, 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.