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Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 741–755 | Cite as

Remote Detection of Varying Water Storage in Relation to Surfacial Temperature of Aral Sea

  • Guangyi Mu
  • Li Chen
  • Liangjun HuEmail author
  • Kaishan SongEmail author
Article
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Lake monitoring by remote sensing is of significant importance to understanding the lake and ambient ecological and environmental processes. In particular, whether lake water storage variation could predict lake surfacial temperature or vice versa has long fascinated the research community, in that it would greatly benefit the monitoring missions and scientific interpretation of the lake change processes. This study attempted to remotely detect the dynamics of the Aral Sea and pursue the relationships between varying lake water storage attributes and surface water temperature by using MODIS LST (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Land Surface Temperature) 8-day composite products, satellite altimeter data, and actual meteorological measurements. Their associations with lake Surface Water Temperatures (SWT) were then analyzed. Results showed the lake water surface areas and elevations of the North Aral Sea tended to increasing trend from 2001 (2793.0 km2, 13.6 m) to 2015 (6997.8 km2, 15.9 m), while those of the South Aral Sea showed a decreasing trend during 2001 (20 434.6 km2, 3.9 m) and 2015 (3256.1 km2, 0.9 m). In addition, the annual daytime and nighttime lake SWT both decreased in the North Aral Sea, while only the daytime SWT in the South Aral Sea exhibited an increase, indicating a rising deviation of diurnal temperatures in the South Aral Sea during the past 15 yr. Moreover, a lower correlation was found between variations in the daytime SWT and storage capacity in the South Aral Sea (R2 = 0.33; P < 0.05), no fair correlations were tested between lake water storage and daytime SWT in the North Aral Sea nor between lake water storage and nighttime SWT in either part of the sea. These results implied that climate change, if any at least during the research period, has no significant effects on lake dynamics over the two sectors of the Aral Sea with anthropogenic disturbances. However, climate change and human activities may overlap to explain complex consequences in the lake storage variations. Our results may provide a reference for monitoring the spatiotemporal variations of lakes, increasing understanding of the lake water storage changes in relation to the lake SWT, which may benefit the ecological management of the Aral Sea region, in the effort to face the likely threats from climate change and human activities to the region.

Key words

Surface Water Temperature (SWT) lake water surface dynamics lake water storage Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) the Aral Sea 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology Science, Ministry of EducationNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Jilin Provincial Museum of NatureNortheast Normal UniversityChangchunChina
  3. 3.Northeast Institute of Geography and AgroecologyChinese Academy of SciencesChangchunChina

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