Original Articles

Detection of Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Ili River, 1970-2007

  • 1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Online published: 2010-03-25


Land use/land cover change (LUCC) information is usually limited in the transboundary river basin. It is unable to meet the needs for environmental assessment. Central Asia is the most fragile ecological area in the world. As the largest import river supply to Balkhash Lake, Ili River plays a significant role on regional environment. In this study we took a case of the middle and lower reaches of the Ili River, which is bordered with Xinjiang, China, to analyse the process and trend of LUCC at a regional scale quantitatively. Based on MSS images in the 1970s, TM images in the 1990s, and ETM images in the 2000s and 2007, spatial data about land use/land cover were obtained in this study with the combination of visual interpretation and the decision tree classification module. Because of the lack of the large scale reference data (e.g. aerial photographs or topographic maps) and field survey, we assessed the classification accuracy with higher revolution images on Google Earth Pro?誖. Then the characteristics of LUCC were quantified by the way of process and trend models. The results showed that densely covered woodlands and grasslands, moderately covered woodlands and grasslands and cultivated lands always accounted for the largest areal proportion in the middle and lower reaches of the Ili River in the past four decades. The area of moderately covered woodlands and grasslands, lakes, reservoirs, swamps, construction lands and unused lands increased considerably, with only a slight increase of swamps. The area of cultivated lands, densely covered woodlands and grasslands, sparsely covered woodlands and grasslands and river decreased slightly. The major LUCC categories were the swamps between cultivated lands and densely covered woodlands and grasslands as well as the swamps between densely covered woodlands and grasslands and moderately covered woodlands and grasslands. The area of cultivated lands was influenced significantly by policies. Although the land use/land cover still at the quasi-balanced status in the entire period, a trend of imbalanced status was appeared. Natural and anthropogenic driving forces effected LUCC of the middle and lower reaches of the Ili River as a whole. The construction of Kapchagay Reservoir in the 1970s and the institutional reform in the early 1990s changed the randomness and stability of LUCC, and made the regional land use/land cover change more obvious.

Cite this article

ZHU Lei1,2, LUO Geping1, CHEN Xi1, XU Wenqiang1, FENG Yixing1,2, ZHENG Qinghua1, . Detection of Land Use/Land Cover Change in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Ili River, 1970-2007[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2010 , 29(3) : 292 -300 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2010.03.006


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