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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (1): 1-9    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0009-5
Brief Communication     
Change of lake area in the southeastern part of China’s Badain Jaran Sand Sea and its implications for recharge sources
Zhi ZHANG, ZhiBao DONG*, ChangZhen YAN, GuangYin HU
Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  Understanding the relationship between the changes in lake water volume and climate change can provide valuable information to the recharge sources of lake water. This is particularly true in arid areas such as the Badain Jaran Sand Sea, an ecologically sensitive area, where the recharge sources of lakes are heatedly debated. In this study, we determined the areas of 50 lakes (representing 70% of the total permanent lakes in this sand sea) in 1967, 1975, 1990, 2000 and 2010 by analyzing remote-sensing images using image processing and ArGIS software. In general, the total lake area decreased from 1967 to 1990, remained almost unchanged from 1990 to 2000, and increased from 2000 to 2010. Analysis of the relationship between these changes and the contemporaneous changes in annual mean temperature and annual precipitation in the surrounding areas suggests that temperature has significantly affected the lake area, but that the influence of precipitation was minor. These results tend to support the palaeo-water recharge hypothesis for lakes of the Badain Jaran Sand Sea, considering the fact that the distribution and area of lakes are closely related to precipitation and the size of megadunes, but the contemporaneous precipitation can hardly balance the lake water.

Key wordssoil organic carbon      spatial variability      desert grasslands      elevation      edaphic factor      Qilian Mountains     
Received: 20 December 2013      Published: 10 February 2015

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41130533).

Corresponding Authors: ZhiBao DON     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Zhi ZHANG, ZhiBao DONG, ChangZhen YAN, GuangYin HU. Change of lake area in the southeastern part of China’s Badain Jaran Sand Sea and its implications for recharge sources. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(1): 1-9.

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