Climate and Environmental Change

Lake evolution and its implication for environ-mental changes in China during 1950?2000

  • 1. College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China|
    2. State Key Lab of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography &|Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China

Received date: 2008-01-06

  Revised date: 2008-03-11

  Online published: 2008-06-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40771197; No.40472085; The Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, No.BK2007534


Lakes in China have undergone considerable environmental changes during the past 50 years, e.g. lake level, water area changes, as did in the past several thousands years. The enhanced human activities, such as land reclamation, application of chemical fertilizer, land use and cover, irrigation and industrialization in the catchment etc., have played an im-portant role on the recent decades’ changes of these lakes, although constrained to a great extent by the natural impact. Comparative study on variations of lake volume (water level, depth and area) in the eastern and western lake regions of China during 1950–2000 indicated that, lake volume in the eastern region had approximately undergone a two-stage change, i.e. a dramatic decrease from the 1950s to 1970s, and a continuous increase between the 1980s and 1990s; while, in the western region, lake volume had been decreasing nearly all the time. Further studies on some typical lakes concluded that, climatic change was a primary factor for the variations of lake volume during the past 50 years, although human activities showed important effect.

Cite this article

HUANG Zhihua, XUE Bi, YAO Shuchun, PANG Yong . Lake evolution and its implication for environ-mental changes in China during 1950?2000[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2008 , 18(2) : 131 -141 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-008-0131-4