There exists great potential of rural land consolidation in China due to the aggravated hollowed villages against the background of rapid rural-urban transformation. The paper aims to investigate the potential of rural land consolidation within four urbanization scenarios: Complete urbanization, Semi-urbanization, Urbanization in batches and prospective urbanization in 2020. Research findings show that, (1) the potentials of rural land consolidation in complete and semi-urbanization are 809.89×104 hm2 and 699.19×104 hm2 respectively while rural consolidation rates are 50.70% and 43.77%. As for the urbanization in batches and urbanization in 2020, the potentials are 757.89×104 hm2 and 992.16×104 hm2. (2) Beside Tibet and Ningxia, rural consolidation rates in most provinces are between 40% and 60%, and the land increase rates are between 3% and 12%. Significant correlation between potential of rural land consolidation and the degree of hollowed villages is also found. (3) Evident differences of potential of rural land consolidation exist across provinces. Rural consolidation rates in the East and Central provinces are higher than that in the West provinces. Villages in the developed areas have higher consolidation rates than those in the less developed areas, and villages in the plain areas tend to have higher consolidation rates than those in the mountainous areas.
Based on the temporal-spatial distribution features of ancient settlement sites from the middle and late Neolithic Age to the Han dynasty in the Chaohu Lake Basin of Anhui Province, East China, using the methods of GIS combined with the reconstructed paleoenvironment by the records of lake sediment since Holocene, the transmutation of ancient settlements with response to environmental changes in this area has been discussed. Studies show that the main feature of transmutation of ancient settlements from the middle and late Neolithic Age to the Han Dynasty was that the distribution of settlements in this area changed from high altitudes to low ones and kept approaching the Chaohu Lake with the passage of time. These could be the response to the climate change from warm-moist to a relatively warm-dry condition during the middle Holocene, leading to the lake level fluctuations. The large area of exposed land provided enough space for human activities. These indicate that the above changes in geomorphologic evolution and hydrology influenced by climate conditions affected the transmutation of ancient settlements greatly. The distribution pattern of settlement sites was that the number of sites in the west was more than in the east. This pattern may be related to the geomorphologic conditions such as frequent channel shifting of the Yangtze River as well as flood disasters during the Holocene optimum. Therefore, climate change was the inducement of the transmutation of ancient settlements in the Chaohu Lake Basin, which exerted great influence on the distribution, expansion and development of the ancient settlements.
This paper examines the spatial pattern of land and water resources as well as urbanization and their interactions in the Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang, China. In order to do so, we extract the data associated with efficiency of land and water resources and urbanization for the years of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008. Specifically the paper investigates the extent to which agglomeration of population and economic activities varies geographically and interplays with spatial pattern of resources efficiency through computation of Global Moran's I index, Getis-Ord Gi* index and a coordinated development model. The method used provides clear evidence that urbanization, land and water resources efficiency have shown uneven spatial pattern due to oasis distribution, climate, and initial phase of urban development. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) Agglomeration and dispersion of urbanization are not consistent with those of land and water resources efficiency. (2) Evolution of the hot and cold spots of urbanization, and land and water resources efficiency, in different trajectories, indicate that there are no significant interactions between them. (3) The evidence that numbers of hot and cold spots of the three factors present varying structures reveals the dominance of unequal urban development in the study area. (4) Significant differences are also found between sub-river basins in terms of the three factors, which is a reflection of the complex physical geography of the area. (5) The degree of coordinated development of cities in the Tarim River Basin is generally low in part as a reflection of difference in spatial patterns of the three factors. It is also shown that the pattern of the degree of coordinated development is relatively stable compared with evolution of hot and cold spots of the three factors.
It is a key premise of ‘ecosystem approaches' to natural resources management that we must have an appropriate understanding of biodiversity values, and controls upon them, if we wish to manage them effectively. These biodiversity values, and associated ecosystem functionality, vary with space and time and are tied directly to landscape-scale relationships and evolutionary traits. In riverine systems, nested hierarchical principles provide a useful platform to assess relationships between landscape components across a range of scales. These understandings are most instructively synthesized through catchment-scale analyses. This paper outlines a rationale for systematic catchment-wide appraisals of river geodiversity. An initial application of these principles is presented for the Yellow River source zone in Qinghai Province, western China. Geo-ecological relationships are outlined for five broad sections of the trunk stream, highlighting implications for the management of these individual landscape compartments and for the system as a whole.
The spatial distribution of valley setting (laterally-unconfined, partly-confined, or confined) and fluvial morphology in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers is contrasted and analyzed. The source region of the Yangtze River is divided into 3 broad sections (I, II and III) based on valley setting and channel gradient, with the upstream and downstream sections being characterized by confined (some reaches partly-confined) valleys, while the middle section is characterized with wide and shallow, laterally-unconfined valleys. Gorges are prominent in sections I and III, while braided channel patterns dominate section II. By contrast, the source region of the Yellow River is divided into 5 broad sections (sections I-V) based on valley characteristics and channel gradient. Sections I, II and IV are alluvial reaches with mainly laterally-unconfined (some short reaches partly-confined) valleys. Sections III and V are mainly confined or partly-confined. Greater morphological diversity is evident in the source region of the Yellow River relative to the upper Yangtze River. This includes braided, anabranching, anastomosing, meandering and straight alluvial patterns, with gorges in confined reaches. The macro-relief (elevation, gradient, aspect, valley alignment and confinement) of the region, linked directly to tectonic movement of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, tied to climatic, hydrologic and biotic considerations, are primary controls upon the patterns of river diversity in the region.
The changes in cropland quantity and quality due to land use are critical concerns to national food security, particularly for China. Despite the significant ecological effects, the ecological restoration program (ERP), started from 1999, has evidently altered the spatial patterns of China’s cropland and agricultural productivity. Based on cropland dynamic data from 2000 to 2008 primarily derived from satellite images with a 30-m resolution and satellite-based net primary productivity models, we identified the impacts on agricultural productivity caused by ERP, including “Grain for Green” Program (GFGP) and “Reclaimed Cropland to Lake” (RCTL) Program. Our results indicated that the agricultural productivity lost with a rate of 132.67×104 t/a due to ERP, which accounted for 44.01% of the total loss rate caused by land use changes during 2000-2005. During 2005-2008, the loss rate due to ERP decreased to 77.18×104 t/a, which was equivalent to 58.17% of that in the first five years and 30.22% of the total loss rate caused by land use changes. The agricultural productivity loss from 2000-2008 caused by ERP was more attributed to GFGP (about 70%) than RCTL. Although ERP had a certain influence on cropland productivity during 2000-2008, its effect was still much less than that of urbanization; moreover, ERP was already converted from the project implementation phase to the consolidation phase.
Based on a monthly dataset of precipitation time series (1961-2010) from 12 meteorological stations across the Three-River Headwater Region (THRHR) of Qinghai Province, China, the spatio-temporal variation and abrupt change analysis of precipitation were examined by using moving average, linear regression, spline interpolation, the Mann-Kendall test and so on. Major conclusions were as follows. (1) The long-term annual and seasonal precipitation in the study area indicated an increasing trend with some oscillations during 1961-2010; however, the summer precipitation in the Lantsang (Lancang) River Headwater Region (LARHR), and the autumn precipitation in the Yangtze River Headwater Region (YERHR) of the THRHR decreased in the same period. (2) The amount of annual precipitation in the THRHR and its three sub-headwater regions was greater in the 1980s and 2000s. The springs were fairly wet after the 1970s, while the summers were relatively wet in the 1960s, 1980s and 2000s. In addition, the amount of precipitation in the autumn was greater in the 1970s and 1980s, but it was relatively less for the winter precipitation, except in the 1990s. (3) The normal values of spring, summer, winter and annual precipitation in the THRHR and its three sub-headwater regions all increased, but the normal value of summer precipitation in the LARHR had a negative trend and the normal value of winter precipitation declined in general. (4) The spring and winter precipitation increased in most of the THRHR. The summer, autumn and annual precipitation increased mainly in the marginal area of the west and north and decreased in the regions of Yushu, Zaduo, Jiuzhi and Banma. (5) The spring and winter precipitation in the THRHR and its three sub-headwater regions showed an abrupt change, except for the spring precipitation in the YARHR. The abrupt changes of spring precipitation were mainly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, while the abrupt changes of winter precipitation were primary in the mid- to late 1970s. This research would be helpful for further understanding the trends and periodicity of precipitation and for watershed-based water resource management in the THRHR.
The accumulation and ablation of a glacier directly reflect its mass income and wastage, and ice temperature indicates glacier's climatic and dynamic conditions. Glaciological studies at Baishui Glacier No.1 in Mt. Yulong are important for estimating recent changes of the cryosphere in Hengduan Mountains. Increased glacier ablation and higher ice temperatures can cause the incidents of icefall. Therefore, it is important to conduct the study of glacier mass balance and ice temperature, but there are few studies in relation to glacier's mass balance and active-layer temperature in China's monsoonal temperate glacier region. Based on the field observations of mass balance and glacier temperature at Baishui Glacier No.1, its accumulation, ablation, net balance and near-surface ice temperature structure were analyzed and studied in this paper. Results showed that the accumulation period was ranged from October to the following mid-May, and the ablation period occurred from mid-May to October, suggesting that the ablation period of temperate glacier began about 15 days earlier than that of continental glaciers, while the accumulation period began about 15 days later. The glacier ablation rate was 6.47 cm d-1 at an elevation of 4600 m between June 23 and August 30, and it was 7.4 cm d-1 at 4800 m between June 26 and July 11 in 1982, moreover, they respectively increased to 9.2 cm d-1 and 10.8 cm d-1 in the corresponding period and altitude in 2009, indicating that glacier ablation has greatly intensified in the past years. The temperature of the main glacier body was close to melting point in summer, and it dropped from the glacier surface and reached a minimum value at a depth of 4-6 m in the ablation zone. The temperature then rose to around melting point with the depth increment. In winter, the ice temperature rose gradually with the increasing depth, and close to melting point at the depth of 10 m. Compared with the data from 1982, the glacier temperature has risen in the ablation zone in recent decades.
Ecological land rent is the excess profit produced by resource scarcity, and is also an important indicator for measuring the social and economic effects of resource scarcity. This paper, by calculating the respective ecological land rents of all the provinces in China for the years 2002 and 2007, and with the assistance of the software programs ArcGIS and GeoDA, analyzes the spatial differentiation characteristics of ecological land rent; then, the influencing factors of ecological land rent differentiation among the provinces are examined using the methods of traditional regression and spatial correlation analysis. The following results were obtained: First, ecological land rent per unit of output in China shows stable distribution characteristics of being low in the southwestern and northeastern provinces, and high in Hebei and Henan provinces. There is also an increasing tendency in the central and western provinces, and a decreasing one in the eastern provinces. In general, the spatial distribution of ecological land rent per unit of output in China is quite scattered. Second, the total ecological land rent shows significant spatial aggregation characteristics, in particular the provinces in China possessing high total amounts of ecological land rent tend to be adjacent to one another, as do those with low total amounts, and the spatial difference characteristics of the eastern, central and western provinces are distinguished. The Bohai Rim, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta are shown to be highly clustering regions of total ecological land rent, while the western provinces have very low ecological land rent in terms of total amount. Third, population distribution, economic level and industrial structure were all important influencing factors influencing ecological land rent differentiation among provinces in China. Furthermore, population density, urbanization level, economic density, per capita consumption level and GDP per capita were all shown to be positively related to total ecological land rent, which indicates that spatial clustering exists between ecological land rent and these factors. However, there was also a negative correlation between ecological land rent and agricultural output percentage, indicating that spatial scattering exists between ecological land rent and agricultural output percentage.
The paper presents results of a study on the sediment supply and movement of highly turbid sediment plume within Malindi Bay in the Northern region of the Kenya coast. The current velocities, tidal elevation, salinity and suspended sediment concentrations (TSSC) were measured in stations located within the bay using Aanderaa Recording Current Meter (RCM-9), Turbidity Sensor mounted on RCM-9, Divers Gauges and Aanderaa Temperature-Salinity Meter. The study established that Malindi Bay receives a high terrigenous sediment load amounting to 5.7×106 ton·yr-1. The river freshwater supply into the bay is highly variable ranging from 7 to 680 m3·s-1. The high flows that are > 150 m3·s-1 occurred in May during the South East Monsoon (SEM). Relatively low peak flows occurred in November during the North East Monsoon (NEM) but these were usually <70 m3·s-1. The discharge of highly turbidity river water into the bay in April and May occurs in a period of high intensity SEM winds that generate strong north flowing current that transports the river sediment plume northward. However, during the NEM, the river supply of turbid water is relatively low occurring in a period of relatively low intensity NEM winds that result in relatively weaker south flowing current that transports the sediment plume southward. The mechanism of advection of the sediment plume north or south of the estuary is mainly thought to be due to the Ekman transport generated by the onshore monsoon winds. Limited movement of the river sediment plume southward towards Ras Vasco Da Gama during NEM has ensured that the coral reef ecosystem in the northern parts of Malindi Marine National Park has not been completely destroyed by the influx of terrigenous sediments. However, to the north there is no coral reef ecosystem. The high sediment discharge into Malindi Bay can be attributed to land use change in the Athi-Sabaki River Basin in addition to rapid population increase which has led to clearance of forests to open land for agriculture, livestock grazing and settlement. The problems of heavy siltation in the bay can be addressed by implementing effective soil conservation programmes in the Athi-Sabaki Basin. However, the soil conservation programmes in the basin are yet to succeed due to widespread poverty among the inhabitants and the complications brought about by climate change.
Desertification process as a great problem affects most of the countries in the world. This process has a high rate in arid and semiarid areas. Today, human societies are encountering the desertification phenomenon as a serious problem which causes various irreparable damages to economic and social sectors. In order to assess desertification results in production of different regional models for their application in another region the indices should be re-investigated and adjusted to local conditions. Several models have been developed for desertification evaluation. The present study, attempts to assess quantitatively the desertification process has in an area located at Sistan plain of Iran (Niatak region as a case study) by using Modified MEDALUS method. The obtained results indicated that of the whole studied region (comprising 4819.6 acres), 2651.56 acres (55%) are located in medium desertification intensity class, 1269.48 acres (26.34%) are positioned in severe desertification intensity class, and 898.54 acres (18.64%) are placed in vary severe desertification intensity class.