Liu Haijiang, Zhou Chenghu, Cheng Weiming, Long En, Li Rui
Acta Ecologica Sinica
Otindag Sandy Land; sandy desertification; CBERS; remote sensing; change detection
Sandy desertification is now the main ecological problem in the Otindag Sandy Land. In order to reveal the process of land degradation, especially the latest situation of sandy desertification, a method integrating remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS) and field survey was employed to build a sandy desertification dataset for analysis. Remote sensing images included the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image in 1987, the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) image in 2000, and the image with the Charge-Coupled Device Camera (CCD) on the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) in 2006. Five land-cover classes, including active sand dunes, fixed sand dunes, semi-fixed sand dunes, inter-dune grassland and wetlands, were identified. Results showed that the Otindag Sandy Land has been suffering sandy desertification since 1987 with 2 different desertified stages. The first stage from 1987 to 2000 was a severe sandy desertification period, characterized by the fixed sand dunes decreasing at a high speed, and the semi-fixed and active sand dunes increasing remarkably. The second stage spanned from 2000 to 2006 and the sandy desertification was weakened greatly. Although a large area of fixed sand dunes were transformed to other types, fixed sand dunes were still the dominant type in the Ointdag region at 2006. Spatial change detection based on active sand dunes showed that the expansion area was much larger than the reversion area in the past two decades, and that several active sand belts had been formed, suggesting that sandy desertification controlling of the Otindag Sandy Land will be a long-term task.