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Water 2015, 7(11), 6039-6055; doi:10.3390/w7116039

Remote Sensing Based Analysis of Recent Variations in Water Resources and Vegetation of a Semi-Arid Region

1
International Research Center for River Basin Environment (ICRE), University of Yamanashi, Takeda 4-3-11, Kofu, Yamanashi 400-8511, Japan
2
Department of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Kyoto University, C1, Kyoto-Daigaku-Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 615-8540, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yingkui Li
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 27 October 2015 / Published: 3 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change)
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Abstract

This study is designed to demonstrate use of free remote sensing data to analyze response of water resources and grassland vegetation to a climate change induced prolonged drought in a sparsely gauged semi-arid region. Water resource changes over Hulun Lake region derived from monthly Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) products were analyzed. The Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) analysis results from both GRACE and TRMM showed decreasing trends in water storage changes and precipitation over 2002 to 2007 and increasing trends after 2007 to 2012. Water storage and precipitation changes on the spatial and temporal scale showed a very consistent pattern. Further analysis proved that water storage changes were mainly caused by precipitation and temperature changes in this region. It is found that a large proportion of grassland vegetation recovered to its normal state after above average rainfall in the following years (2008–2012) and only a small proportion of grassland vegetation (16.5% of the study area) is degraded and failed to recover. These degraded grassland vegetation areas are categorized as ecologically vulnerable to climate change and protective strategies should be designed to prevent its further degradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: water resource variations; climate change; vegetation; semi-arid region; remote sensing water resource variations; climate change; vegetation; semi-arid region; remote sensing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ning, S.; Ishidaira, H.; Udmale, P.; Ichikawa, Y. Remote Sensing Based Analysis of Recent Variations in Water Resources and Vegetation of a Semi-Arid Region. Water 2015, 7, 6039-6055.

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