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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4292-4305; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404292

GIS Analysis of Changes in Ecological Vulnerability Using a SPCA Model in the Loess Plateau of Northern Shaanxi, China

School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiao tong University, Xi'an, 710049, China
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Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 14 February 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
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Abstract

Changes in ecological vulnerability were analyzed for Northern Shaanxi, China using a geographic information system (GIS). An evaluation model was developed using a spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) model containing land use, soil erosion, topography, climate, vegetation and social economy variables. Using this model, an ecological vulnerability index was computed for the research region. Using natural breaks classification (NBC), the evaluation results were divided into five types: potential, slight, light, medium and heavy. The results indicate that there is greater than average optimism about the conditions of the study region, and the ecological vulnerability index (EVI) of the southern eight counties is lower than that of the northern twelve counties. From 1997 to 2011, the ecological vulnerability index gradually decreased, which means that environmental security was gradually enhanced, although there are still some places that have gradually deteriorated over the past 15 years. In the study area, government and economic factors and precipitation are the main reasons for the changes in ecological vulnerability. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological vulnerability index; geographic information system (GIS); spatial principal component analysis; Northern Shaanxi area ecological vulnerability index; geographic information system (GIS); spatial principal component analysis; Northern Shaanxi area
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hou, K.; Li, X.; Zhang, J. GIS Analysis of Changes in Ecological Vulnerability Using a SPCA Model in the Loess Plateau of Northern Shaanxi, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4292-4305.

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