Land degradation sensitivity assessment and convergence analysis in Korla of Xinjiang, China
Land degradation has a major impact on environmental and socio-economic sustainability. Scientific methods are necessary to monitor the risk of land degradation. In this study, the environmental sensitive area index (ESAI) was utilized to assess land degradation sensitivity and convergence analysis in Korla, a typical oasis city in Xinjiang of China, which is located on the northeast border of the Tarim Basin. A total of 18 indicators depicting soil, climate, vegetation, and management qualities were used to illustrate spatial-temporal patterns of land degradation sensitivity from 1994 to 2018. We investigated the causes of spatial convergence and divergence based on the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) models. The results show that the branch of the Tianshan Mountains and oasis plain had a low sensitivity to land degradation, while the Tarim Basin had a high risk of land degradation. More than two-thirds of the study area can be categorized as "critical" sensitivity classes. The largest percentage (32.6%) of fragile classes was observed for 2006. There was no significant change in insensitive or low-sensitivity areas, which accounted for less than 0.4% of the entire observation period. The ESAI of the four time periods (1994–1998, 1998–2006, 2006–2010, and 2010–2018) formed a series of convergence patterns. The convergence patterns of 1994–1998 and 1998–2006 can be explained by the government's efforts to "Returning Farmland to Forests" and other governance projects. In 2006–2010, the construction of afforested work intensified, but industrial development and human activities affected the convergence pattern. The pattern of convergence in most regions between 2010 and 2018 can be attributed to the government's implementation of a series of key ecological protection projects, which led to a decrease in sensitivity to land degradation. The results of this study altogether suggest that the ESAI convergence analysis is an effective early warning method for land degradation sensitivity.
DING, Jinchen; CHEN, Yunzhi; WANG, Xiaoqin; and CAO, Meiqin
"Land degradation sensitivity assessment and convergence analysis in Korla of Xinjiang, China,"
Journal of Arid Land: Vol. 12
, Article 4.
Available at: https://egijournals.researchcommons.org/journal-of-arid-land/vol12/iss4/4