Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2002, Vol. 57 ›› Issue (7s): 113-119.doi: 10.11821/xb20027s017

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The Distribution of Desertified Land in Northern China and the Analysis of the Climate Background

QI Yuan, WANG Yimou, FENG Yusun, WANG Jianhua, YAN Changzhen   

  1. Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2002-05-16 Revised:2002-10-22 Online:2002-12-25 Published:2002-12-25
  • Supported by:

    Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX-Y-02-01-04


Desertification is one of the most serious problems in China and in the world, and has seriously affected socioeconomic aspects and geographical environment. Based on remote sensing and geographic information system, we conducted extensive investigations on the desertified land, including desert, sandy land, Gobi, and saline-alkali land, in northern China and set up database of the desertified land. According to the database, about 41.2 % of the six provinces in northern China was covered by desertified land. The distribution of desertified land is regular, from east to west, desert area, Gobi, and saline-alkali land increased and sandy desert decreased. According to the analysis of the climate background, we found that low precipitation and strong wind constitute the common characteristics of the desertified land area, and most of the desertified land is located in the arid and extremely arid areas where the middle or low wind fields exert great influence on the desertified land. Affected by the special distribution of precipitation, from east to west, the area of the fixed and semi-fixed sandy land decreased whereas the shifting or semi-shifting sandy land increased gradually. Most Gobi and saline-alkali land is concentrated in Northwest China.

Key words: desertified land, desert, sandy land, Gobi, saline-alkali land, remote sensing, GIS