Natural Hazards

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 1753–1772 | Cite as

Monitoring the recent trend of aeolian desertification using Landsat TM and Landsat 8 imagery on the north-east Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in the Qinghai Lake basin

Original Paper


As an important part of Qinghai Plateau, the Qinghai Lake is a sensitive and fragile zone for global change impacts. It is one of the most strongly desertified regions on the Qinghai Plateau. Based on remote sensing, a geographic information system and using Thematic Mapper imagery for the years 1987, 2000, 2009 and Landsat 8 images for the year 2014 as data sources, we extracted information regarding the dynamic changes of aeolian desertification in the study area over the last 28 years. The spatio-temporal evolutions of the landscape patterns of regional aeolian desertified land (ADL) are discussed. Our objective is to provide references for desertification control and eco-environmental restoration in the Qinghai Lake basin (QLB). Results elicit an aeolian desertified area which has increased by 96.74 km2 over the past 28 years. ADL mainly experienced processes of increasing stable to decreasing trends, before 2000, the area of aeolian desertification increased by 338.03 km2. After 2000, desertification remains stable, but as we speak desertification decreases and a moderate and slight ADL took the lead. The dynamics of aeolian desertification in QLB is mainly determined by climate change, human activities and management.


Aeolian desertification Aeolian desertified land (ADL) The Qinghai Lake basin (QLB) Remote sensing monitoring The Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP) 



We gratefully acknowledge the funding received from the Opening Funding of Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KLDD-2014-007), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41401412, 91125004, 41201372, 41301362) and the Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of CAREERI, CAS (51Y451271).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI)Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI)Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.School of Geographical SciencesSouthwest UniversityBeibei, ChongqingChina

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