Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (5): 1206-1217.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202105012

• Climate Change and Land Surface Processes • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vegetation restoration and its effect on runoff and sediment processes in the Toudaoguai-Tongguan section of the Yellow River

GAO Haidong1,2(), WU Zhao2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an 710048, China
    2. School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an 710048, China
  • Received:2019-12-18 Revised:2020-12-22 Online:2021-05-25 Published:2021-07-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41877077)


The Toudaoguai-Tongguan section is the main source area of sediments in the Yellow River and has the largest vegetation restoration rate in China. Subsequently, the rapid restoration of vegetation has had significant effects on the runoff and sediment transport processes. In this paper, the vegetation restoration characteristics, and the influencing factors and their effects on runoff and sediment processes in different landform units in the Toudaoguai-Tongguan section were analyzed based on the MOD13Q1 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data using the statistical and trend analysis techniques. And then, the future vegetation development trend in this area was predicted. The results suggest that the vegetation exhibits a significant increasing trend (p < 0.05) in 82.87% of the study area, and the semi-humid loess hilly and gully zones have the largest vegetation restoration rate. Slope gradient and precipitation have different effects on the vegetation restoration in different landform units. With the increase of precipitation, the correlation between NDVI and annual precipitation in the Toudaoguai-Tongguan section is lessened. In the context of vegetation restoration, precipitation is still the major factor influencing the main river runoffs in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, whereas the sediment load is affected by both precipitation and NDVI, and the sediment concentration exhibits a relatively strong negative correlation with NDVI. With the increase of vegetation coverage, the amount of soil erosion in the watershed decreases, and the river sediment load exhibits a decreasing trend. The contribution rate of the amount of soil erosion to the sediment load varies between 39%-88%. Based on the vegetation restoration potential and vegetation restoration rate, it was predicted that the mean values of NDVI in the Toudaoguai-Tongguan section in 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2050 would be 0.68, 0.75, 0.79, and 0.80, respectively.

Key words: vegetation restoration, trend analysis, middle reaches of the Yellow River, runoff and sediment process