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The Ilisu Dam is 440 feet high and a mile wide. Generating 1,200 megawatts of electricity, it’s Turkey’s fourth largest dam in terms of power generation.

The decline in water flow for the Tigris River can lower the water quality downstream, especially during a drought. Where the Tigris drains into the Persian Gulf in southern Iraq, the lower flow can cause saltwater intrusion from the Gulf. This hinders the recovery of the Mesopotamian Marshes.

Declassified satellite imagery reveals a now-inundated village, Koctepe, just above the location of the Ilisu Dam. The Hexagon satellite image has a resolution of 2–4 feet, enough detail to see the small village by the Tigris River.


Every picture has a story to tell
May 17, 2009, Landsat 5 (path/row 171/34) — Ilisu Dam, Turkey
May 29, 2019, Landsat 8 (path/row 171/34) — Ilisu Dam, Turkey
May 21, 2022, Landsat 8 (path/row 171/34) — Ilisu Dam, Turkey
July 13, 1972, Hexagon satellite — Koctepe, Turkey


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