Journal of Arid Land


An experiment is made to detect the land-cover change in the area located to the south of Aksu in the northern Taklimakan desert through analyses of satellite data pixel by pixel basis. The analyzed data are those observed in the late summer and early autumn of 1973, 1977, 1993 and 1995. As a parameter of land-cover, SAVI (Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index) derived from the data of Landsat MSS and JERS-1 OPS (Optical Sensor) is used. The result indicates the increase of vegetation in the oasis areas, confluent area of the Yarkant and Kashgar Rivers and around reservoirs while little change occurs in the desert area. The 1973 satellite image shows the abundant flow in the Yarkant River while the river is almost dried up in the satellite images of later years. The trend of the decrease in the Hotan River flow is recognized although not so dramatic as that of the Yarkant River.


Taklimakan Desert; SAVI; Landsat MSS; JERS-1 OPS; vegetation; false color; landcover change

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