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1. 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》 Hits8032Downloads269 Comment 0

2. 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》 Hits7412Downloads249 Comment 0

3. 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》 Hits7003Downloads622 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:201903.00232 [pdf]

Conversion of cropland into agroforestry land versus naturally-restored grassland alters soil macro-faunal diversity and trophic structure in the semi-arid agro-pasture zone of northern China

LIU Rentao
Subjects: Biology >> Ecology

Restoration of cropland (termed 'Farm') after abandonment including shrubs (termed 'Shrub'), trees (termed 'Tree') and natural grassland (termed 'Grass') has become a routine process aimed to improve land productivity and control desertification. During this restoration process, soil macro-faunal diversity, and trophic structure were investigated at four types of sites (Farm, Shrub, Tree, and Grass) during growing season in the semi-arid agro-pasture zone of northern China. Results indicated that the Staphylinidae family was found to dominate at the Grass, Shrub, and Tree sites, whiles larval Pyralidae individuals were found at the Grass site only. The density of the omnivores (i.e., Formicidae family) was significantly (P<0.05) greater at the Grass site than at the Tree and Farm sites. The total density and richness of predator and phytophages were found to be markedly (P<0.05) greater at the Grass site than at the Farm site. Meanwhile, we found the taxon richness of predators was significantly (P<0.05) higher at the Shrub site than at the Farm and Tree sites. Compared with the Farm and afforested Shrub/Tree sites, the Grass site had greater density, taxon richness, and Shannon index (P<0.05). In conclusion, natural restoration of abandoned croplands toward grassland was an effective strategy relative to artificial afforestation for improvement of soil biological diversity. Moreover, planting shrub is a preferable measure in abandoned croplands for land development in the semi-arid agro-pasture zone of northern China.

submitted time 2019-03-28 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits7288Downloads2632 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》 Hits3572Downloads494 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》 Hits2935Downloads573 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》 Hits3426Downloads653 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》 Hits2073Downloads556 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:201804.02358 [pdf]

Simulating long-term effect of Hyrcanian forest loss on phosphorus loading at the sub-watershed level

RAJAEI, Fatemeh ; SARI, Abbas E ; SALMANMAHINY, Abdolrassoul ; RANDHIR, Timothy O ; DELAVAR, Majid ; BEHROOZ, Reza D ; BAVANI, Alireza M
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

Conversion of forest land to farmland in the Hyrcanian forest of northern Iran increases the nutrient input, especially the phosphorus (P) nutrient, thus impacting the water quality. Modeling the effect of forest loss on surface water quality provides valuable information for forest management. This study predicts the future impacts of forest loss between 2010 and 2040 on P loading in the Tajan River watershed at the sub-watershed level. To understand drivers of the land cover, we used Land Change Modeler (LCM) combining with the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate the impacts of land use change on P loading. We characterized priority management areas for locating comprehensive and cost-effective management practices at the sub-watershed level. Results show that agricultural expansion has led to an intense deforestation. During the future period 2010–2040, forest area is expected to decrease by 34,739 hm2. And the areas of pasture and agriculture are expected to increase by 7668 and 27,071 hm2, respectively. In most sub-watersheds, P pollution will be intensified with the increase in deforestation by the year 2040. And the P concentration is expected to increase from 0.08 to 2.30 mg/L in all of sub-watersheds by the year 2040. It should be noted that the phosphorous concentration exceeds the American Public Health Association′s water quality standard of 0.2 mg/L for P in drinking water in both current and future scenarios in the Tajan River watershed. Only 30% of sub-watersheds will comply with the water quality standards by the year 2040. The finding of the present study highlights the importance of conserving forest area to maintain a stable water quality.

submitted time 2018-04-24 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1343Downloads432 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:201803.00010 [pdf]

Model based decision support system for land use changes and socio-economic assessments

YU, Yang; CHEN, Xi; HUTTNER, Philipp; HINNENTHAL, Marie; BRIEDEN, Andreas; SUN, Lingxiao; DSE, ISMarkus
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

Hydrological models are often linked with other models in cognate sciences to understand the interactions among climate, earth, water, ecosystem, and human society. This paper presents the development and implementation of a decision support system (DSS) that links the outputs of hydrological models with real-time decision making on social-economic assessments and land use management. Discharge and glacier geometry changes were simulated with hydrological model, water availability in semi-arid environments. Irrigation and ecological water were simulated by a new commercial software MIKE HYDRO. Groundwater was simulated by MODFLOW. All the outputs of theses hydrological models were taken as inputs into the DSS in three types of links: regression equations, stationary data inputs, or dynamic data inputs as the models running parallel in the simulation periods. The DSS integrates the hydrological data, geographic data, social and economic statistical data, and establishes the relationships with equations, conditional statements and fuzzy logics. The programming is realized in C++. The DSS has four remarkable features: (1) editable land use maps to assist decision-making; (2) conjunctive use of surface and groundwater resources; (3) interactions among water, earth, ecosystem, and humans; and (4) links with hydrological models. The overall goal of the DSS is to combine the outputs of scientific models, knowledge of experts, and perspectives of stakeholders, into a computer-based system, which allows sustainability impact assessment within regional planning; and to understand ecosystem services and integrate them into land and water management.

submitted time 2018-02-28 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1246Downloads607 Comment 0

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