Impact of the Tengiz oil field on the state of land cover

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Asyma G. Koshim
Aigul M. Sergeyeva
Asset Yegizbayeva


The study of the transformation of natural complexes in areas with a developed infrastructure for oil subsurface use is a prerequisite condition for solving the environmental problems of oil-producing regions. Located in the territory of the Atyrau Region in Western Kazakhstan, the Tengiz oil field is one of the largest oil fields in the world. The field has been under intensive development for more than 40 years and is characterised by a large volume of anthropogenic load, which contributes to a significant transformation of the landscape complex. The purpose of this study is to investigate the dynamics of landscape changes in the territory of the Tengiz field and to assess its ecological condition. Based on the materials from many years of research, the features of the Tengiz field and the main technogenic sources affecting the landscape complex were identified. Several quantitative indicators characterising the anthropogenic load were calculated based on satellite images. On the basis of Landsat – 5 TM, 7 ETM+ and 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A (S2A) data, the vegetation index of land cover was calculated using normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), demonstrating the dynamics of landscape changes in the period from 1990 to 2020. The obtained results show that the areas of some landscape components continue to deteriorate. For example, the area of open soil in 2020 decreased due to the withdrawal of these areas for industrial facilities, which increased by 2.2 times by 2020 due to intensive field development. This study demonstrates the importance of monitoring and studying desert landscape complexes under active anthropogenic impact to ensure the sustainable development of territories.


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Koshim, A. G., Sergeyeva, A. M., & Yegizbayeva, A. (2022). Impact of the Tengiz oil field on the state of land cover. Quaestiones Geographicae, 41(2), 83-93.


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