Table of Content

    15 February 2015, Volume 25 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Orginal Article
    Start of vegetation growing season on the Tibetan Plateau inferred from multiple methods based on GIMMS and SPOT NDVI data
    Mingjun DING, Lanhui LI, Yili ZHANG, Xiaomin SUN, Linshan LIU, Jungang GAO, Zhaofeng WANG, Yingnian LI
    2015, 25 (2):  131-148.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1158-y
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    In this study, we have used four methods to investigate the start of the growing season (SGS) on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from 1982 to 2012, using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data obtained from Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMSS, 1982-2006) and SPOT VEGETATION (SPOT-VGT, 1999-2012). SGS values estimated using the four methods show similar spatial patterns along latitudinal or altitudinal gradients, but with significant variations in the SGS dates. The largest discrepancies are mainly found in the regions with the highest or the lowest vegetation coverage. Between 1982 and 1998, the SGS values derived from the four methods all display an advancing trend, however, according to the more recent SPOT VGT data (1999-2012), there is no continuously advancing trend of SGS on the TP. Analysis of the correlation between the SGS values derived from GIMMS and SPOT between 1999 and 2006 demonstrates consistency in the tendency with regard both to the data sources and to the four analysis methods used. Compared with other methods, the greatest consistency between the in situ data and the SGS values retrieved is obtained with Method 3 (Threshold of NDVI ratio). To avoid error, in a vast region with diverse vegetation types and physical environments, it is critical to know the seasonal change characteristics of the different vegetation types, particularly in areas with sparse grassland or evergreen forest.

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    Hydrological processes of glacier and snow melting and runoff in the Urumqi River source region, eastern Tianshan Mountains, China
    Meiping SUN, Xiaojun YAO, Zhongqin LI, Mingjun ZHANG
    2015, 25 (2):  149-164.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1159-x
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    Hydrological processes were compared, with and without the influence of precipitation on discharge, to identify the differences between glacierized and non-glacierized catchments in the Urumqi River source region, on the northern slope of the eastern Tianshan Mountains, during the melting season (May-September) in 2011. The study was based on hydrological data observed at 10-min intervals, meteorological data observed at 15-min intervals, and glacier melting and snow observations from the Empty Cirque, Zongkong, and Urumqi Glacier No.1 gauging stations. The results indicated that the discharge differed markedly among the three gauging stations. The daily discharge was more than the nightly discharge at the Glacier No.1 gauging station, which contrasted with the patterns observed at the Zongkong and Empty Cirque gauging stations. There was a clear daily variation in the discharge at the three gauging stations, with differences in the magnitude and duration of the peak discharge. When precipitation was not considered, the time-lags between the maximum discharge and the highest temperature were 1-3 h, 10-16 h, and 5-11 h at the Glacier No.1, Empty Cirque, and Zongkong gauging stations, respectively. When precipitation was taken into consideration, the corresponding time-lags were 0-1 h, 13 h, and 6-7 h, respectively. Therefore, the duration from the generation of discharge to confluence was the shortest in the glacierized catchment and the longest in the catchment where was mainly covered by snow. It was also shown that the hydrological process from the generation of discharge to confluence shortened when precipitation was considered. The factors influencing changes in the discharge among the three gauging stations were different. For Glacier No.1 station, the discharge was mainly controlled by heat conditions in the glacierized region, and the discharge displayed an accelerated growth when the temperature exceeded 5°C in the melt season. It was found that the englacial and subglacial drainage channel of Glacier No.1 had become simpler during the past 20 years. Its weaker retardance and storage of glacier melting water resulted in rapid discharge confluence. It was also shown that the discharge curve and the time-lag between the maximum discharge and the highest temperature could be used to reveal the evolution of the drainage system and the process of glacier and snow melting at different levels of glacier coverage.

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    Variations of the alpine precipitation from an ice core record of the Laohugou glacier basin during 1960-2006 in western Qilian Mountains, China
    Xiang QIN, Xiaoqing CUI, Wentao DU, Zhiwen DONG, Jiawen REN, Jizu CHEN
    2015, 25 (2):  165-176.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1160-4
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    The net accumulation record of ice core is one of the most reliable indicators for reconstructing precipitation changes in high mountains. A 20.12 m ice core was drilled in 2006 from the accumulation zone of Laohugou Glacier No.12 in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, China. We obtained the precipitation from the ice core net accumulation during 1960-2006, and found out the relationship between Laohugou ice core record and other data from surrounding sites of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Results showed that during 1960-2006, the precipitation in the high mountains showed firstly an increasing trend, while during 1980 to 2006 it showed an obvious decreasing trend. Reconstructed precipitation change in the Laohugou glacier basin was consistent with the measured data from the nearby weather stations in the lower mountain of Subei, and the correlation coefficient was 0.619 (P<0.001). However, the precipitation in the high mountain was about 3 times more than that of the lower mountain. The precipitation in Laohugou Glacier No.12 of the western Qilian Mountains corresponded well to the net accumulation of Dunde ice core during the same period, tree-ring reconstructed precipitation, the measured data of multiple meteorological stations in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, and also the changes of adjacent PDSI drought index. Precipitation changes of the Laohugou glacier basin and other sites of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau had significantly positive correlation with ENSO, which implied that the regional alpine precipitation change was very likely to be influenced by ENSO.

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    Evaluating the suitability of TRMM satellite rainfall data for hydrological simulation using a distributed hydrological model in the Weihe River catchment in China
    Haigen ZHAO, Shengtian YANG, Zhiwei WANG, Xu ZHOU, Ya LUO, Linna WU
    2015, 25 (2):  177-195.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1161-3
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    The objective of this study is to quantitatively evaluate Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data with rain gauge data and further to use this TRMM data to drive a Distributed Time-Variant Gain Model (DTVGM) to perform hydrological simulations in the semi-humid Weihe River catchment in China. Before the simulations, a comparison with a 10-year (2001-2010) daily rain gauge data set reveals that, at daily time step, TRMM rainfall data are better at capturing rain occurrence and mean values than rainfall extremes. On a monthly time scale, good linear relationships between TRMM and rain gauge rainfall data are found, with determination coefficients R2 varying between 0.78 and 0.89 for the individual stations. Subsequent simulation results of seven years (2001-2007) of data on daily hydrological processes confirm that the DTVGM when calibrated by rain gauge data performs better than when calibrated by TRMM data, but the performance of the simulation driven by TRMM data is better than that driven by gauge data on a monthly time scale. The results thus suggest that TRMM rainfall data are more suitable for monthly streamflow simulation in the study area, and that, when the effects of recalibration and the results for water balance components are also taken into account, the TRMM 3B42-V7 product has the potential to perform well in similar basins.

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    Reconstructing pre-erosion topography using spatial interpolation techniques: A validation-based approach
    BERGONSE Rafaello, REIS Eusébio
    2015, 25 (2):  196-210.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1162-2
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    Understanding the topographic context preceding the development of erosive landforms is of major relevance in geomorphic research, as topography is an important factor on both water and mass movement-related erosion, and knowledge of the original surface is a condition for quantifying the volume of eroded material. Although any reconstruction implies assuming that the resulting surface reflects the original topography, past works have been dominated by linear interpolation methods, incapable of generating curved surfaces in areas with no data or values outside the range of variation of inputs. In spite of these limitations, impossibility of validation has led to the assumption of surface representativity never being challenged. In this paper, a validation-based method is applied in order to define the optimal interpolation technique for reconstructing pre-erosion topography in a given study area. In spite of the absence of the original surface, different techniques can be nonetheless evaluated by quantifying their capacity to reproduce known topography in unincised locations within the same geomorphic contexts of existing erosive landforms. A linear method (Triangulated Irregular Network, TIN) and 23 parameterizations of three distinct Spline interpolation techniques were compared using 50 test areas in a context of research on large gully dynamics in the South of Portugal. Results show that almost all Spline methods produced smaller errors than the TIN, and that the latter produced a mean absolute error 61.4% higher than the best Spline method, clearly establishing both the better adjustment of Splines to the geomorphic context considered and the limitations of linear approaches. The proposed method can easily be applied to different interpolation techniques and topographic contexts, enabling better calculations of eroded volumes and denudation rates as well as the investigation of controls by antecedent topographic form over erosive processes.

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    Construction of an ecological resistance surface model and its application in urban expansion simulations
    Yuyao YE, Yongxian SU, Hong-ou ZHANG, Kai LIU, Qitao WU
    2015, 25 (2):  211-224.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1163-1
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    Urban expansion models are useful tools to understand urbanization process and have been given much attention. However, urban expansion is a complicated socio-economic phenomenon that is affected by complex and volatile factors involving in great uncertainties. Therefore, the accurate simulation of the urban expansion process remains challenging. In this paper, we make an attempt to solve such uncertainty through a reversal process and view urban expansion as a process wherein the urban landscape overcomes resistance from other landscapes. We developed an innovative approach derived from the minimum cumulative resistance (MCR) model that involved the introduction of a relative resistance factor for different source levels and the consideration of rigid constraints on urban expansion caused by ecological barriers. Using this approach, the urban expansion ecological resistance (UEER) model was created to describe ecological resistance surfaces suitable for simulating urban expansion and used to simulate urban expansion in Guangzhou. The study results demonstrate that the ecological resistance surface generated by the UEER model comprehensively reflects ecological resistance to urban expansion and indicates the spatial trends in urban expansion. The simulation results from the UEER-based model were more realistic and more accurately reflected ecological protection requirements than the conventional MCR-based model. These findings can enhance urban expansion simulation methods.

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    Application of GIS for the identification and demarcation of selective heavy metal concentrations in the urban groundwater
    ASHRAF Sobia, ABBAS Farhat, IBRAHIM Muhammad, RASHID Umer, KHALID Shoaib, Raza AHMAD Hammad, Rehman HAKEEM Khalid, MAJEED Tahir
    2015, 25 (2):  225-235.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1164-0
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    Groundwater is the most appropriate and widely used source of drinking water, which is increasingly threatened by pollution from industrial and agricultural activities. To check the severity of the problem, 156 groundwater samples were collected from various depths (60-110 ft) of 52 different localities in Faisalabad city, the third largest metropolis in Pakistan, and analyzed for the metals (Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb, Mn and Fe) concentration in 2009. Quantification was done by using Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer technique and the results were compared with WHO standards for drinking water quality. Results showed that the levels of Cu, Mn and Fe were below the WHO standards while the concentrations of Zn, Cd, Ni and Pb were above the recommended levels of safe drinking water. Correlation analysis among the occurrence of these heavy metals revealed a highly significant and positive correlation of Mn with Zn and Fe. A significant and positive correlation of Cd was also found with Cu and groundwater depth showing that there is strong association between Cu-Cd pair and that the Cd concentration varies with depth of groundwater in the study area. Regional patterns of heavy metals occurrence were mapped using Geographical Information System (GIS) for the identification and demarcation of risk areas. The concentration maps may be used by policymakers of the city to mitigate groundwater pollution.

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    Spatial patterns, driving forces, and urbanization effects of China’s internal migration: County-level analysis based on the 2000 and 2010 censuses
    Tao LIU, Yuanjing QI, Guangzhong CAO, Hui LIU
    2015, 25 (2):  236-256.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-015-1165-z
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    China has witnessed unprecedented urbanization over the past decades. The rapid expansion of urban population has been dominantly contributed by the floating population from rural areas, of which the spatiotemporal patterns, driving forces, and multidimensional effects are scrutinized and evaluated in this study by using the latest national censuses conducted in 2000 and 2010. Analysis based on the county-level data comes to conclusions as follows. The spatial pattern of floating population has remained stable over the first decade of the new century. The top 1% cities with the largest floating population received 45.5% of all migrants in China. As the rapid development of mega-city regions, the coastal concentration areas of floating population tended to geographically united as a whole, whereas the spatial distribution of migrants within each region varied significantly. The migrant concentration area in the Yangtze River Delta was the largest and its expansion was also the most salient. However, the floating population has growingly moved into provincial capitals and other big cities in the inland regions and its gravity center has moved northward for around 110 km during the study period. The spatial pattern of floating population has been formed jointly by the state and market forces in transitional China and the impacts of state forces have been surpassed by those of market forces in the country as a whole. The attractiveness of coastal cities and counties to the floating population comes mainly from the nonagricultural employment opportunities and public services, reflecting that long-distance and long-term migrants have moved coastward not only to gain employment but also to enjoy city life. By contrast, in the central and western regions, places with a higher economic development level and at a higher administrative level are more attractive to floating populations, demonstrating that the state remains to play an important role in allocating economic resources and promoting regional development in inland China. As the main body of new urban residents, the floating population has contributed substantially to the elevation of the urbanization levels of migrant-sending and -receiving places, by 20.0% and 49.5% respectively. Compared with extensively investigated interprovincial migrants, intra-provincial migrants have higher intention and ability to permanently live in cities and thus might become the main force of China’s urbanization in the coming decades. The internal migration has also reshaped China’s urban system in terms of its hierarchical organization and spatial structure.

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