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Journal of Arid Land  2012, Vol. 4 Issue (4): 378-389    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00378
Research Articles     
Using the concept of ecological groundwater level to evaluate shallow groundwater resources in hyperarid desert regions
Qi FENG1,2,3, JiaZhong PENG1,3, JianGuo LI1,3, HaiYang XI1,3, JianHua SI1,3
1 Alashan Desert Eco-hydrology Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Department of Geography, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China;
3 Gansu Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Center, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  This paper, based on the analysis and calculation of the groundwater resources in an arid region from 1980 to 2001, put forward the concept of ecological groundwater level threshold for either salinity control or the determination of ecological warning. The surveys suggest that soil moisture and soil salinity are the most important environmental factors in determining the distribution and changes in vegetation. The groundwater level threshold of ecological warning can be determined by using a network of groundwater depth observation sites that monitor the environmental moisture gradient as reflected by plant physiological characteristics. According to long-term field observations within the Ejin oases, the groundwater level threshold for salinity control varied between 0.5 m and 1.5 m, and the ecological warning threshold varied between 3.5 m and 4.0 m. The quantity of groundwater re-sources (renewable water resources, ecological water resources, and exploitable water resources) in arid areas can be calculated from regional groundwater level information, without localized hydrogeological data. The concept of groundwater level threshold of ecological warning was established according to water development and water re-sources supply, and available groundwater resources were calculated. The concept not only enriches and broadens the content of groundwater studies, but also helps in predicting the prospects for water resources development.

Key words ecological migration      migration project      migrant farmer families      questionnaire      Tianchi Scenic Area      Xinjiang     
Received: 23 February 2012      Published: 15 December 2012

The National Natural Science Foun¬dation of China (91025002; 30970492), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (GK201101002), the Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZZD- EW-04-05), and the National Key Technology R & D Pro-gram (2012BAC08B05).

Corresponding Authors: Qi FENG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Qi FENG, JiaZhong PENG, JianGuo LI, HaiYang XI, JianHua SI. Using the concept of ecological groundwater level to evaluate shallow groundwater resources in hyperarid desert regions. Journal of Arid Land, 2012, 4(4): 378-389.

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