Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (6): 633-644.doi: 10.11821/xb200606007

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The Spatial Pattern of Land Use/Land Cover in the Water Supplying Area of the Middle-Route of the South-to-North Water Diversion (MR-SNWD) Project

SHEN Zehao1, ZHANG Quanfa2, YUE Chao1, ZHAO Jun, HU Zhiwei1, LV Nan1, TANG Yuanyuan1   

  1. 1. Department of Ecology, the MOE Key Lab of Earth Surface Processes Analysis and Modeling, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    2. Wuhan Botanical Garden, CAS, Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2005-12-28 Revised:2006-03-19 Online:2006-06-25 Published:2006-06-25
  • Supported by:

    Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences


Land use and land cover (LULC) change has profound impacts on water resources, and it is particularly important for the inter-basin Middle-Route of the South-to-North Water Diversion (MR-SNWD) Project of China. We developed a LULC classification system for the water supplying area (~95,000 km2) of the MR-SNWD Project and mapped the LULC in the 2000s using Landsat TM and ETM+ imagery. The analytical results of the spatial pattern of LULC indicate that: 1) The area percentages of forests, shrubs, farmland, rock/bare land and water bodies are 50.97%, 25.58%, 15%, 5.66% and 1%, respectively. 2) There are significant differences in LULC pattern among the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains, plains & hills in the Hanjiang-Danjiang river basin, and the northern slope of the Daba Mountains. Intensive land use and degraded land area appear mainly in the Hanjiang-Danjiang river basin. 3) LULC in the watershed is correlated with topography. Not only does the natural land cover show an altitudinal gradient, but the types and intensity of land use are also relevant to elevation. Steepness is a key restrictive factor to land use. Although no prominent effect of slope aspect was detected in terms of LULC pattern at local scale, there is profound difference in LULC structure between the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains and the northern slope of the Daba Mountains. In summary, the current condition of vegetation is fairly good over the water supplying area of the MR-SNWD. The intensive land use types are concentrated in the relatively flat area below an elevation of 1000 m a.s.l., an area where intensive land degradation also occurs, and made it the crucial area in water quality protection and environmental management.

Key words: inter-basin water transfer, water supplying area, land use/land cover, spatial pattern, the middle and upper reaches of the Hanjiang River, Middle-Route of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project