Section 16
Chapter 15,554

Dynamic analysis of eco-environmental changes based on remote sensing and geographic information system: an example in Longdong region of the Chinese Loess Plateau

Liu, L.C.; Dong, X.F.; Wang, J.H.

Environmental geology 53(3): 589-598


DOI: 10.1007/s00254-007-0674-1
Accession: 015553061

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The Chinese Loess Plateau is suffering from severe soil erosion. The eco-environmental changes of the plateau are believed to have an important influence on global eco-environmental sustainability; hence, this problem has attracted considerable attention from scientists around the world. This study has two purposes; application of remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques in the dynamic analysis of eco-environmental changes in the semiarid zone; and using the Longdong region of the Chinese Loess Plateau as an example, to make dynamic analysis of the eco-environmental changes of the region during the 1986-2004 period and identify controlling factors. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data at a spatial resolution of 30 m were used for analysis. Two training areas were selected in Jingning and Qingcheng counties for analysis using 10-m resolution SPOT and Landsat TM data. The satellite RS images were obtained from the Institute of Remote Sensing Application (IRSA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Each images was rectified by Albers Equal Area Conic projection based on 1:50,000 scale topographic maps after spectrum preparation of the images. To make the precision within 1 or 2 pixels, the accurate coordinative control points of the two systems were identified. Then the interpretation key was established based on the land use/cover survey in the study area. The images were classified into six primary environmental types (farmland, forest, grassland, water, construction area, and desert) and 25 sub-types using a visual image interactive interpretation method to obtain vector and attribute data. The resultant accuracy of the land use/cover classification reached 95%. Finally, the transformation areas and ratios of various eco-environmental types in the region were calculated to obtain the transition matrixes of eco-environmental types in the two training areas, Jingning and Qingcheng. This study demonstrates that satellite RS and GIS techniques are effective tools to monitor and analyze the eco-environmental changes in the semiarid region. Visual image interactive interpretation based on GIS technique provides comprehensive information on the direction, rate, and location of eco-environmental changes. The transition matrix model can be used to precisely analyze the variation and rates of the eco-environmental types and their spatial distribution. Great land use changes have taken place Longdong during the 1986-2004 period. These eco-environmental changes were driven by natural and human factors. Natural factors influencing the Longdong region of the Chinese Loess Plateau mainly include temperature, water condition, terrain, soil, and erosion; while human activities include over-cultivation, overgrazing, and fuelwood cutting. As viewed from the extent and severity of the influences, human activities play a very important role in altering the eco-environment of the semiarid region. The study results indicate a need for future research and observation in the semiarid region.

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