PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2005, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 116-123.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2005.06.014

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

Advancement in Topographic Wetness Index and Its Application

ZhANG Caixia1,2, YANG Qinke2, LI Rui1,2   

  1. 1. College of Resource and Environment, Northwestern Sci-tech University of Agriculture and Forestry, Yangling 712100, China|
    2. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
  • Received:2005-04-01 Revised:2005-07-01 Online:2005-11-25 Published:2005-11-25


Topographic wetness index, which takes into account the integrated effects of topography and soil hydraulic characters on soil moisture, plays important theoretical and applied potentials in the studies of spatial distribution of soil moisture. Considering the spatial-temporal variation in upslope contributing area, topographic wetness indexes were divided into three types, e.g. static, quasi-dynamic and full dynamic. The effects of computing methods of topographic wetness index and resolution of DEMs as well as the universality of the index should be analyzed discreetly in application of topographic wetness index. At the same time, for the apparent differences between the current assumptions of topographic wetness index and actual water cycling process and runoff mechanism in arid/semi-arid region, the research approaches and the conceive of the application of topographic wetness index are proposed for the Losses Plateau to provide theoretical and practical foundation for the vegetation restoration and the conservation of soil and water in the region.

Key words: DEM, spatial distribution of soil moisture, the Losses, topographic wetness index