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1. chinaXiv:202010.00026 [pdf]

Land degradation sensitivity assessment and convergence analysis in Korla of Xinjiang, China

DING Jinchen; CHEN Yunzhi; WANG Xiaoqin; CAO Meiqin
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Land degradation has a major impact on environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Scientific methods are necessary to monitor the risk of land degradation. In this study, the environmental sensitive area index (ESAI) was utilized to assess land degradation sensitivity and convergence analysis in Korla, a typical oasis city in Xinjiang of China, which is located on the northeast border of the Tarim Basin. A total of 18 indicators depicting soil, climate, vegetation, and management qualities were used to illustrate spatial-temporal patterns of land degradation sensitivity from 1994 to 2018. We investigated the causes of spatial convergence and divergence based on the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) models. The results show that the branch of the Tianshan Mountains and oasis plain had a low sensitivity to land degradation, while the Tarim Basin had a high risk of land degradation. More than two-thirds of the study area can be categorized as "critical" sensitivity classes. The largest percentage (32.6%) of fragile classes was observed for 2006. There was no significant change in insensitive or low-sensitivity areas, which accounted for less than 0.4% of the entire observation period. The ESAI of the four time periods (1994–1998, 1998–2006, 2006–2010, and 2010–2018) formed a series of convergence patterns. The convergence patterns of 1994–1998 and 1998–2006 can be explained by the government's efforts to "Returning Farmland to Forests" and other governance projects. In 2006–2010, the construction of afforested work intensified, but industrial development and human activities affected the convergence pattern. The pattern of convergence in most regions between 2010 and 2018 can be attributed to the government's implementation of a series of key ecological protection projects, which led to a decrease in sensitivity to land degradation. The results of this study altogether suggest that the ESAI convergence analysis is an effective early warning method for land degradation sensitivity.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1060Downloads113 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201909.00010 [pdf]

Determining the spatial distribution of soil properties using the environmental covariates and multivariate statistical analysis: a case study in semi-arid regions of Iran

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Natural soil-forming factors such as landforms, parent materials or biota lead to high variability in soil properties. However, there is not enough research quantifying which environmental factor(s) can be the most relevant to predicting soil properties at the catchment scale in semi-arid areas. Thus, this research aims to investigate the ability of multivariate statistical analyses to distinguish which soil properties follow a clear spatial pattern conditioned by specific environmental characteristics in a semi-arid region of Iran. To achieve this goal, we digitized parent materials and landforms by recent orthophotography. Also, we extracted ten topographical attributes and five remote sensing variables from a digital elevation model (DEM) and the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM), respectively. These factors were contrasted for 334 soil samples (depth of 0–30 cm). Cluster analysis and soil maps reveal that Cluster 1 comprises of limestones, massive limestones and mixed deposits of conglomerates with low soil organic carbon (SOC) and clay contents, and Cluster 2 is composed of soils that originated from quaternary and early quaternary parent materials such as terraces, alluvial fans, lake deposits, and marls or conglomerates that register the highest SOC content and the lowest sand and silt contents. Further, it is confirmed that soils with the highest SOC and clay contents are located in wetlands, lagoons, alluvial fans and piedmonts, while soils with the lowest SOC and clay contents are located in dissected alluvial fans, eroded hills, rock outcrops and steep hills. The results of principal component analysis using the remote sensing data and topographical attributes identify five main components, which explain 73.3% of the total variability of soil properties. Environmental factors such as hillslope morphology and all of the remote sensing variables can largely explain SOC variability, but no significant correlation is found for soil texture and calcium carbonate equivalent contents. Therefore, we conclude that SOC can be considered as the best-predicted soil property in semi-arid regions.

submitted time 2019-08-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits9359Downloads508 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201909.00012 [pdf]

Sand source and formation mechanism of riverine sand dunes: a case study in Xiangshui River, China

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Riverine sand dunes develop as a result of fluvial-aeolian interactions. The primarily barchan dune chains along the Xiangshui River (a branch of the Xar Moron River in the western part of the Horqin Sandy Land of China) form a typical riverine dune field. We collected a series of samples from the riverine sand dunes parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind and investigated the sand sources and formation mechanisms of these dunes by determining the grain size, heavy mineral content and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) of the samples. The sand of the near-river dunes was coarser than the sand of the dunes distant from the river, indicating that coarse sand of the valley mainly deposited on near-river dunes. The heavy mineral analysis suggested that wind-sand activity levels were intense on the upwind dunes, but relatively weak on the downwind dunes. This indicated that the sand sources for the near-river dunes were more abundant than those of the distant dunes. Our OSL analysis of samples suggested that the deposition rates on dunes near the river were greater than the deposition rates on dunes distant from the river. The development of dunes along the river indicated that the river played an important role in dune formation and development. In addition, airflow fluctuation and the formation of the waveform dunes had a type of feedback relationship. Grain size, heavy mineral and OSL analyses are widely used methods in wind-sand research. Sand dune grain size characteristics reflect the effects of airflow on the transport and separation of sand materials, as well as the physical characteristics of the sand sources. Heavy mineral characteristics are often used to investigate the relationships between sediments and sand sources. OSL indicates dune age, revealing formation of dunes. Therefore, it is useful to explore dune sand sources, as well as the mechanisms underlying dune formation, by determining grain size, heavy mineral content and OSL. This study investigated the sand sources of riverine dunes and provided new information about riverine dune formation and development.

submitted time 2019-08-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits8771Downloads485 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:201906.00048 [pdf]

Effects of land use and cover change on surface wind speed in China

LI Yupeng
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The surface wind speed (SWS) is affected by both large-scale circulation and land use and cover change (LUCC). In China, most studies have considered the effect of large-scale circulation rather than LUCC on SWS. In this study, we evaluated the effects of LUCC on the SWS decrease during 1979–2015 over China using the observation minus reanalysis (OMR) method. There were two key findings: (1) Observed wind speed declined significantly at a rate of 0.0112 m/(s?a), whereas ERA-Interim, which can only capture the inter-annual variation of observed data, indicated a gentle downward trend. The effects of LUCC on SWS were distinct and caused a decrease of 0.0124 m/(s?a) in SWS; (2) Due to variations in the characteristics of land use types across different regions, the influence of LUCC on SWS also varied. The observed wind speed showed a rapid decline over cultivated land in Northwest China, as well as a decrease in China's northeastern and eastern plain regions due to the urbanization. However, in the Tibetan Plateau, the impact of LUCC on wind speed was only slight and can thus be ignored.

submitted time 2019-06-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits7550Downloads871 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:201901.00114 [pdf]

Climate change, water resources and sustainable development in the arid and semi-arid lands of Central Asia in the past 30 years

YU Yang; PI Yuanyue; YU Xiang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The countries of Central Asia are collectively known as the five ''-stans'': Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. In recent times, the Central Asian region has been affected by the shrinkage of the Aral Sea, widespread desertification, soil salinization, biodiversity loss, frequent sand storms, and many other ecological disasters. This paper is a review article based upon the collection, identification and collation of previous studies of environmental changes and regional developments in Central Asia in the past 30 years. Most recent studies have reached a consensus that the temperature rise in Central Asia is occurring faster than the global average. This warming trend will not only result in a higher evaporation in the basin oases, but also to a significant retreat of glaciers in the mountainous areas. Water is the key to sustainable development in the arid and semi-arid regions in Central Asia. The uneven distribution, over consumption, and pollution of water resources in Central Asia have caused severe water supply problems, which have been affecting regional harmony and development for the past 30 years. The widespread and significant land use changes in the 1990s could be used to improve our understanding of natural variability and human interaction in the region. There has been a positive trend of trans-border cooperation among the Central Asian countries in recent years. International attention has grown and research projects have been initiated to provide water and ecosystem protection in Central Asia. However, the agreements that have been reached might not be able to deliver practical action in time to prevent severe ecological disasters. Water management should be based on hydrographic borders and ministries should be able to make timely decisions without political intervention. Fully integrated management of water resources, land use and industrial development is essential in Central Asia. The ecological crisis should provide sufficient motivation to reach a consensus on unified water management throughout the region.

submitted time 2019-01-17 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3951Downloads714 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:201810.00181 [pdf]

Evaluating and modeling the spatiotemporal pattern of regional-scale salinized land expansion in highly sensitive shoreline landscape of southeastern Iran

Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Taking an area of about 2.3×104 km2 of southeastern Iran, this study aims to detect and predict regional-scale salt-affected lands. Three sets of Landsat images, each set containing 4 images for 1986, 2000, and 2015 were acquired as the main source of data. Radiometric, atmospheric and cutline blending methods were used to improve the quality of images and help better classify salinized land areas under the support vector machine method. A set of landscape metrics was also employed to detect the spatial pattern of salinized land expansion from 1986 to 2015. Four factors including distance to sea, distance to sea water channels, slope, and elevation were identified as the main contributing factors to land salinization. These factors were then integrated using the multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) procedure to generate land sensitivity map to salinization and also to calibrate the cellular-automata (CA) Markov chain (CA-Markov) model for simulation of salt-affected lands up to 2030, 2040 and 2050. The results of this study showed a dramatic dispersive expansion of salinized land from 7.7 % to 12.7% of the total study area from 1986 to 2015. The majority of areas prone to salinization and the highest sensitivity of land to salinization was found to be in the southeastern parts of the region. The result of the MCE-informed CA-Markov model revealed that 20.3% of the study area is likely to be converted to salinized lands by 2050. The findings of this research provided a view of the magnitude and direction of salinized land expansion in a past-to-future time period which should be considered in future land development strategies.

submitted time 2018-10-29 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3376Downloads817 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:201810.00185 [pdf]

Impact of large-scale vegetation restoration project on summer land surface temperature on the Loess Plateau, China

HE, Guohua; ZHAO, Yong; WANG, Jianhua; WANG, Qingming; ZHU, Yongnan
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

A large-scale afforestation project has been carried out since 1999 in the Loess Plateau of China. However, vegetation-induced changes in land surface temperature (LST) through the changing land surface energy balance have not been well documented. Using satellite measurements, this study quantified the contribution of vegetation restoration to the changes in summer LST and analyzed the effects of different vegetation restoration patterns on LST during both daytime and nighttime. The results show that the average daytime LST decreased by 4.3°C in the vegetation restoration area while the average nighttime LST increased by 1.4°C. The contributions of the vegetation restoration project to the changes in daytime LST and nighttime LST are 58% and 60%, respectively, which are far greater than the impact of climate change. The vegetation restoration pattern of cropland (CR) converting into artificial forest (AF) has a cooling effect during daytime and a warming effect at nighttime, while the conversion of CR to grassland has an opposite effect compared with the conversion of CR to AF. Our results indicate that increasing evapotranspiration caused by the vegetation restoration on the Loess Plateau is the controlling factor of daytime LST change, while the nighttime LST change is affected by soil humidity and air humidity.

submitted time 2018-10-29 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3935Downloads932 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:201809.00171 [pdf]

Changes in soil properties and erodibility of gully heads induced by vegetation restoration on the Loess Plateau, China

GUO, Mingming; WANG, Wenlong; KANG, Hongliang; YANG, Bo
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Soil erosion on the Loess Plateau of China is effectively controlled due to the implementation of several ecological restoration projects that improve soil properties and reduce soil erodibility. However, few studies have examined the effects of vegetation restoration on soil properties and erodibility of gully head in the gully regions of the Loess Plateau. The objectives of this study were to quantify the effects of vegetation restoration on soil properties and erodibility in this region. Specifically, a control site in a slope cropland and 9 sites in 3 restored land-use types (5 sites in grassland, 3 in woodland and 1 in shrubland) in the Nanxiaohegou watershed of a typical gully region on the Loess Plateau were selected, and soil and root samples were collected to assess soil properties and root characteristics. Soil erodibility factor was calculated by the Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator method. Our results revealed that vegetation restoration increased soil sand content, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, organic matter content and mean weight diameter of water-stable aggregate but decreased soil silt and clay contents and soil disintegration rate. A significant difference in soil erodibility was observed among different vegetation restoration patterns or land-use types. Compared with cropland, soil erodibility decreased in the restored lands by 3.99% to 21.43%. The restoration patterns of Cleistogenes caespitosa K. and Artemisia sacrorum L. in the grassland showed the lowest soil erodibility and can be considered as the optimal vegetation restoration pattern for improving soil anti-erodibility of the gully heads. Additionally, the negative linear change in soil erodibility for grassland with restoration time was faster than those of woodland and shrubland. Soil erodibility was significantly correlated with soil particle size distribution, soil disintegration rate, soil saturated hydraulic conductivity, water-stable aggregate stability, organic matter content and root characteristics (including root average diameter, root length density, root surface density and root biomass density), but it showed no association with soil bulk density and soil total porosity. These findings indicate that although vegetation destruction is a short-term process, returning the soil erodibility of cropland to the level of grassland, woodland and shrubland is a long-term process (8–50 years).

submitted time 2018-09-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2381Downloads741 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:201712.00324 [pdf]

Determinants and rates of land degradation: Application of stationary time-series model to data from a semi-arid environment in Kenya

Mganga, Kevin; Nyariki, Dickson
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

The causes of land degradation in the African drylands have been shown to vary. Some researchers consider climate to be the major contributor to degradation, with anthropogenic factors playing a minor role. Others reverse the significance of these two factors. A third group attributes land degradation to climate and anthropogenic factors equally. This study was undertaken to establish the factors influencing land degradation in a semi-arid environment in southeastern Kenya and the rate of change in vegetation types for a period of 35 years (1973–2007). The reduction in grassland cover was used as an indicator of land degradation. Causes of land degradation were determined by a multiple regression analysis. A log-linear regression analysis was used to establish the rate of vegetation change. The multiple and log-linear regression analyses showed: (1) woody vegetation, livestock population and cultivated area to be the main contributors of reduction in grassland cover in the area, and (2) an increase in undesirable woody species, livestock population and cultivated area had a significant (P<0.05) negative effect on grassland vegetation. Increased human population, low amounts of rainfall and drought showed no significant negative effect on grassland vegetation cover. In conclusion, human and livestock population growth and increased agricultural land have contributed to intensive crop cultivation and overgrazing in the semi-arid lands. This overuse of the semi-arid rangelands has worsened the deterioration of the natural grassland vegetation.

submitted time 2017-12-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1248Downloads777 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:201712.00327 [pdf]

Monitoring desertification processes in Mongolian Plateau using MODIS tasseled cap transformation and TGSI time series

LIU, Qingsheng; LIU, Gaohuan; HUANG, Chong
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Most remote sensing studies assess the desertification using vegetation monitoring method. But it has the insufficient precision of vegetation monitoring for the limited vegetation cover of the desertification region. Therefore, it offers an alternative approach for the desertification research to assess sand dune and sandy land change using remote sensing in the desertification region. In this study, the indices derived from the well-known tasseled cap transformation (TCT), tasseled cap angle (TCA), disturbance index (DI), process indicator (PI), and topsoil grain size index (TGSI) were integrated to monitor and assess the desertification at the thirteen study sites including sand dunes and sandy lands distributed in the the Mongolian Plateau (MP) from 2000 to 2015. A decision tree was used to classify the desertification on a regional scale. The average overall accuracy of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 desertification classification was higher than 90%. Results from this study indicated that integration of the advantages of TCA, DI and TGSI could better assess the desertification. During the last 16 years, Badain Jaran Desert, Tengger Desert, and Ulan Buh Desert showed a relative stabilization. Otindag Sandy Land and the deserts of Khar Nuur, Ereen Nuur, Tsagan Nuur, Khongoryn Els, Hobq, and Mu Us showed a slow increasing of desertification, whereas Bayan Gobi, Horqin and Hulun Buir sandy lands showed a slow decreasing of desertification. Compared with the other 11 sites, the fine sand dunes occupied the majority of the Tengger Desert, and the coarse sandy land occupied the majority of the Horqin Sandy Land. Our findings on a three or four years’ periodical fluctuated changes in the desertification may possibly reflect changing precipitation and soil moisture in the MP. Further work to link the TCA, DI, TGSI, and PI values with the desertification characteristics is recommended to set the thresholds and improve the assessment accuracy with field investigation.

submitted time 2017-12-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1532Downloads777 Comment 0

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