Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2005, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (4): 405-414.doi: 10.1360/gs050403

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of land use changes on groundwater resources in the Heihe River Basin

WANG Genxu1,2, YANG Lingyuan2, CHEN Ling2, Jumpei Kubota3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China;

    2. College of Earth and Environment Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China;

    3. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto 602-0878, Japan
  • Received:2005-03-05 Revised:2005-06-10 Online:2005-12-25 Published:2010-10-23
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40171002; China-Japan Cooperation Project "Estimation of oasis adaptability to water resource under changing environment"


Land use and land cover changes have a great impact on the regional hydrological process. Based on three periods of remote sensing data from the 1960s and the long-term observed data of groundwater from the 1980s, the impacts of land use changes on the groundwater system in the middle reach of Heihe River Basin in recent three decades are analyzed by the perspective of groundwater recharge and discharge system. The results indicate that with the different intensities of land use changes, the impacts on the groundwater recharge were 2.602×108 m3/a in the former 15 years (1969-1985) and 0.218×108 m3/a in the latter 15 years (1986-2000), and the impacts on the groundwater discharge were 2.035×108 m3/a and 4.91×108 m3/a respectively. When the groundwater exploitation was in a reasonable range less than 3.0×108 m3/a, the land use changes could control the changes of regional groundwater resources. Influenced by the land use changes and the large-scale exploitation in the recent decade, the groundwater resources present apparently regional differences in Zhangye region. Realizing the impact of land use changes on groundwater system and the characteristics of spatial-temporal variations of regional groundwater resources would be very important for reasonably utilizing and managing water and soil resources.

Key words: land use change, inland river, groundwater system, Heihe River Basin