Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (10): 1956-1968.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-2031-4

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Development of center pivot irrigation farmlands from 2009 to 2018 in the Mu Us dune field, China: Implication for land use planning

LIU Xiaokang1,3(), DONG Zhibao1,3,*(), DING Yaping1, LU Ruijie2, LIU Liyun2, DING Zhiyong4, LI Yijing1   

  1. 1.School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    2.Engineering Center of Desertification and Blown-Sand Control of Ministry of Education, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3.Planetary Aeolian Research Institute, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
    4.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
  • Received:2021-11-04 Accepted:2022-03-14 Online:2022-10-25 Published:2022-12-25
  • Contact: DONG Zhibao;
  • About author:Liu Xiaokang (1989-), Lecturer, specialized in aeolian geomorphology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41901094);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41930641);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(GK202103148)


The Mu Us dune field in China has become a focal region for research of the prevention and control of desertification. Agricultural practices in this area have been modernized in recent years, evidenced by the development of Center Pivot Irrigation (CPI) farmlands. However, the impacts of CPI farmlands on combating desertification remain poorly understood. This study chose the southeastern part of the Mu Us dune field as a study area to investigate the variations of CPI farmlands from 2009 to 2018 and the influencing factors. The results showed growth trends in both the number and the area of these CPI farmland units over the period. The areas of meso- and micro-scale CPI farmland units stabilized over time to mainly 0-0.2 km2 and 0.2-0.4 km2, respectively; Topography, temperature, and geological substratum were preliminarily identified as the major natural factors driving the development of the CPI farmlands. Within the context of varied stakeholders, the potential for soil erosion, and damage to natural vegetation, the current study suggests that strict management of CPI farmland is required through effective long-term planning and land-use policies. The results of this study can assist in realizing the sustainable development of agriculture and its ecological significance in dune field areas.

Key words: center pivot irrigation, Mu Us dune field, agriculture development, desertification, land use planning