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Impact of climate change on Gavkhouni playa

Gavkhouni playa as a Quaternary heritage in Iran, has experienced various climate events and is geomorphologically an important region. It is the deepest area in the Zayanderood watershed in Esfahan province. Due to presence of Gavkhouni wetland and sand dunes in the playa, ecotourism is an important activity. It is clear that a healthy and watery lake can support a high density of vegetation cover and conserve groundwater levels in the coastal regions. In this study satellite images were used to investigate Gavkhouni wetland changes and also the impact of climate change in the region for more than three decades. Results showed that the lake has deteriorated and the area of the wetland has decreased. The continuation of the current situation will increase salinity, sand storms, sediment deposition and respiratory diseases and also decrease the potential of the wetland for the presence of animals and plants. Therefore, environmental-based education and governmental and public awareness about desertification and drought can be used as appropriate tools to improve the current situation.