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Special Issue "Assessment, Management, and Policy-Making for Environmental Pollution Related to Land Use and Land Cover"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 40617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663467
Fax: +86 2 23686980
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Environmental pollution and disaster in soil, air, and water involves complex interaction among natural and anthropogenic causes. Among the obtainable geographic data, land use and land cover reflect a major part of land-surface activity, and are generally considered to contribute greatly to the variability of environmental pollution or disaster. Characterizing the mechanism that links the risk of exposure of pollution or disaster to land use and land cover distribution, could significantly facilitate the formulation of environmental action strategies and public health policy.

Relating environmental pollution or disaster to land-surface parameters effectively informs researchers by (1) quantifying the variability of pollutant or disaster (2) improve estimates/simulation of the risk and exposure of pollutant or disaster; and (3) promote epistemic understanding for the environmental and health risks for humans by scientific reasoning between the pollution or the disaster and land-surface parameters. In recent years, various methods have been widely applied in studies of environmental pollution or disaster relating to land-surface parameters, in order to characterize its behavior and risks that lead to public-health problems and socio-economic impact. Accordingly, this special issue focuses on data acquiring/retrieval, application of qualitative/quantitative models, and epistemic/ontological reasoning that relates environmental pollution or disaster and risk assessment to the description of land cover and management/policy-making of land use. Research papers on concise and novel techniques that encompass current developments of such studies are particularly welcome.

Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editor

Submission

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • land use policy and management for environmental pollution or disaster
  • models and approaches for environmental pollution or disaster and land use management
  • anthropogenic and urbanization impacts on air, soil and water quality
  • quantitative characteristics of land use, pollutions, disasters and public health
  • decision support systems for environmental pollution, disaster and management

Published Papers (38 papers)

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Open AccessArticle Heavy Metal Contamination Assessment and Partition for Industrial and Mining Gathering Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7286-7303; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707286
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 2 July 2014 / Accepted: 10 July 2014 / Published: 16 July 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Industrial and mining activities have been recognized as the major sources of soil heavy metal contamination. This study introduced an improved Nemerow index method based on the Nemerow and geo-accumulation index. Taking a typical industrial and mining gathering area in Tianjin (China) as
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Industrial and mining activities have been recognized as the major sources of soil heavy metal contamination. This study introduced an improved Nemerow index method based on the Nemerow and geo-accumulation index. Taking a typical industrial and mining gathering area in Tianjin (China) as example, this study then analyzed the contamination sources as well as the ecological and integrated risks. The spatial distribution of the contamination level and ecological risk were determined using Geographic Information Systems. The results are as follows: (1) Zinc showed the highest contaminant level in the study area; the contamination levels of the other seven heavy metals assessed were relatively lower. (2) The combustion of fossil fuels and emissions from industrial and mining activities were the main sources of contamination in the study area. (3) The overall contamination level of heavy metals in the study area ranged from heavily contaminated to extremely contaminated and showed an uneven distribution. (4) The potential ecological risk showed an uneven distribution, and the overall ecological risk level ranged from low to moderate. This study also emphasized the importance of partition in industrial and mining areas, the extensive application of spatial analysis methods, and the consideration of human health risks in future studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using Benthic Macroinvertebrate and Fish Communities as Bioindicators of the Tanshui River Basin Around the Greater Taipei Area — Multivariate Analysis of Spatial Variation Related to Levels of Water Pollution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7116-7143; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707116
Received: 14 March 2014 / Revised: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 14 July 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After decades of strict pollution control and municipal sewage treatment, the water quality of the Tanshui River increased significantly after pollution mitigation as indicated by the River Pollution Index (RPI). The pollution level of the estuarine region decreased from severe pollution to mostly
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After decades of strict pollution control and municipal sewage treatment, the water quality of the Tanshui River increased significantly after pollution mitigation as indicated by the River Pollution Index (RPI). The pollution level of the estuarine region decreased from severe pollution to mostly moderately impaired. The most polluted waters are presently restricted to a flow track length between 15–35 km relative to the river mouth. From July 2011 to September 2012, four surveys of fish and benthic macroinvertebrates were conducted at 45 sampling sites around the Tanshui River basin. The pollution level of all the study area indicated by the RPI could also be explained by the Family Biotic Index (FBI) and Biotic Index (BI) from the benthic macroinvertebrate community, and the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) of the fish community. The result of canonical correlation analysis between aquatic environmental factors and community structure indicated that the community structure was closely related to the level of water pollution. Fish species richness in the estuarine area has increased significantly in recent years. Some catadromous fish and crustaceans could cross the moderate polluted water into the upstream freshwater, and have re-colonized their populations. The benthic macroinvertebrate community relying on the benthic substrate of the estuarine region is still very poor, and the water layer was still moderately polluted. Full article
Open AccessArticle Environmental Consequences of Rapid Urbanization in Zhejiang Province, East China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(7), 7045-7059; doi:10.3390/ijerph110707045
Received: 18 March 2014 / Revised: 24 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 11 July 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1778 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since reforms carried out in the late 1970s, China has experienced unprecedented rates of urban growth. Remote sensing data and surface observational data are used to investigate the urbanization process and related environmental consequences, focusing on extreme heat events and air pollution, in
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Since reforms carried out in the late 1970s, China has experienced unprecedented rates of urban growth. Remote sensing data and surface observational data are used to investigate the urbanization process and related environmental consequences, focusing on extreme heat events and air pollution, in Zhejiang Province (ZJP, East China). Examination of satellite-measured nighttime light data indicates rapid urbanization in ZJP during the past decade, initially forming three urban clusters. With rapid urban sprawl, a significant Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect has emerged. During extreme heat events in summer, the UHI effect significantly exacerbates nocturnal heat stress in highly urbanized areas. Taking a long-term view, urbanization also causes additional hot days and hot degree days in urban areas. Urbanization also imposes a heavy burden on local and regional air quality in ZJP. Degraded visibility and an increase in haze days are observed at most meteorological stations, especially in the three urban clusters. The results show that urbanization has led to serious environmental problems in ZJP, not only on the city scale, but also on the regional scale. Maintaining a balance between the continuing process of urbanization and environmental sustainability is a major issue facing the local government. Full article
Open AccessArticle Differences of Soil Fertility in Farmland Occupation and Supplement Areas in the Taihu Lake Watershed during 1985–2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 5598-5612; doi:10.3390/ijerph110605598
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the 1980s a series of farmland policies have been implemented in China to stabilize the balance of farmland quantity and quality against accelerating urbanization and industrialization processes. This paper aims to reveal differences of soil fertility in the farmland occupation area (FOA)
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Since the 1980s a series of farmland policies have been implemented in China to stabilize the balance of farmland quantity and quality against accelerating urbanization and industrialization processes. This paper aims to reveal differences of soil fertility in the farmland occupation area (FOA) and farmland supplement area (FSA). In 1985–2000 the decline of the FOA area was 181,000 ha, but the FSA rarely increased. In 2000–2010 the decline of the FOA area was 824,800 ha, but the FSA increased dramatically. The accelerating loss process is closely related to urbanization and industrialization of the locations. Most occupied farmland was still located in the areas with higher soil fertility. The FOA in 1985–2000 had higher soil fertility than the FSA, but the FSA in 2000–2010 significantly raised its soil fertility to close to the FOAs’ level. The rate of excellent-good levels of the FOA in 2000–2010 decreased from 46.13% to 37.61%; The development model shifts and farmland policies implementation are the chief driving factors behind AFOS changes. The TDBF policy and the main function zoning project should continue to play an effective role in balancing the farmland system. Full article
Open AccessArticle High-Resolution Mapping of Anthropogenic Heat in China from 1992 to 2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 4066-4077; doi:10.3390/ijerph110404066
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 14 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1138 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Anthropogenic heat generated by human activity contributes to urban and regional climate warming. Due to the resolution and accuracy of existing anthropogenic heat data, it is difficult to analyze and simulate the corresponding effects. This study exploited a new method to estimate high
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Anthropogenic heat generated by human activity contributes to urban and regional climate warming. Due to the resolution and accuracy of existing anthropogenic heat data, it is difficult to analyze and simulate the corresponding effects. This study exploited a new method to estimate high spatial and temporal resolutions of anthropogenic heat based on long-term data of energy consumption and the US Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) data from 1992 to 2010 across China. Our results showed that, throughout the entire study period, there are apparent increasing trends in anthropogenic heat in three major metropoli, i.e., the Beijing-Tianjin region, the Yangzi River delta and the Pearl River delta. The annual mean anthropogenic heat fluxes for Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in 2010 were 17 Wm−2, 19 and 7.8 Wm−2, respectively. Comparisons with previous studies indicate that DMSP-OLS data could provide a better spatial proxy for estimating anthropogenic heat than population density and our analysis shows better performance at large scales for estimation of anthropogenic heat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social-Ecological Patterns of Soil Heavy Metals Based on a Self-Organizing Map (SOM): A Case Study in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(4), 3618-3638; doi:10.3390/ijerph110403618
Received: 20 February 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 31 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The regional management of trace elements in soils requires understanding the interaction between the natural system and human socio-economic activities. In this study, a social-ecological patterns of heavy metals (SEPHM) approach was proposed to identify the heavy metal concentration patterns and processes in
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The regional management of trace elements in soils requires understanding the interaction between the natural system and human socio-economic activities. In this study, a social-ecological patterns of heavy metals (SEPHM) approach was proposed to identify the heavy metal concentration patterns and processes in different ecoregions of Beijing (China) based on a self-organizing map (SOM). Potential ecological risk index (RI) values of Cr, Ni, Zn, Hg, Cu, As, Cd and Pb were calculated for 1,018 surface soil samples. These data were averaged in accordance with 253 communities and/or towns, and compared with demographic, agriculture structure, geomorphology, climate, land use/cover, and soil-forming parent material to discover the SEPHM. Multivariate statistical techniques were further applied to interpret the control factors of each SEPHM. SOM application clustered the 253 towns into nine groups on the map size of 12 × 7 plane (quantization error 1.809; topographic error, 0.0079). The distribution characteristics and Spearman rank correlation coefficients of RIs were strongly associated with the population density, vegetation index, industrial and mining land percent and road density. The RIs were relatively high in which towns in a highly urbanized area with large human population density exist, while low RIs occurred in mountainous and high vegetation cover areas. The resulting dataset identifies the SEPHM of Beijing and links the apparent results of RIs to driving factors, thus serving as an excellent data source to inform policy makers for legislative and land management actions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Variations of Soil Lead in Different Land Uses Along the Urbanization Gradient in the Beijing Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3199-3214; doi:10.3390/ijerph110303199
Received: 4 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3553 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Understanding the spatial pattern of soil lead (Pb) levels is essential to protecting human health. Most previous studies have examined soil Pb distributions by either urbanization gradient or land-use type. Few studies, however, have examined both factors together. It remains unclear whether the
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Understanding the spatial pattern of soil lead (Pb) levels is essential to protecting human health. Most previous studies have examined soil Pb distributions by either urbanization gradient or land-use type. Few studies, however, have examined both factors together. It remains unclear whether the impacts of land use on soil Pb levels are consistent along the urbanization gradient. To fill this gap, we investigated variations in soil Pb level under different land-use types along the urbanization gradient in Beijing, China. We classified the degree of urbanization as the urban core, transitional zone, or suburban area and the land-use type as industrial area, roadside, residential area, institutional area, road greenbelt, park, or forest. Our results showed that the range of soil Pb levels in Beijing is <1 mg/kg–292 mg/kg, with a mean of 22 mg/kg. Along the urbanization gradient, the mean soil Pb level increased from the suburban area to the urban core. Land-use types have an impact on soil Pb levels, however, when the degree of urbanization is considered, the impact from land use on soil Pb level was only significant in the transitional zone. Parks and road greenbelts were found to have lower soil Pb, primarily due to soil restoration. Roadside and residential areas were found to have higher soil Pb because of traffic emissions, leaded paint, and previous industrial contamination. In the urban core and suburban area, the soil Pb level showed no significant differences among various land-use types. Given the results of soil Pb in various land-use types, we suggest that future studies consider the urbanization gradient in which different land-use samples are located. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatial Pattern of Land Use Change and Its Driving Force in Jiangsu Province
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3215-3232; doi:10.3390/ijerph110303215
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 7 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 18 March 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1968 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Scientific interpretation of the mechanism of land use change is important for government planning and management activities. This study analyzes the land use change in Jiangsu Province using three land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2008. The study results show that there
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Scientific interpretation of the mechanism of land use change is important for government planning and management activities. This study analyzes the land use change in Jiangsu Province using three land use maps of 2000, 2005 and 2008. The study results show that there was a significant change in land use. The change was mainly characterized by a continuous built-up land expansion primarily at the expense of cropland loss, and the trend became increasingly rapid. There was an obvious regional difference, as most of the cropland loss or built-up land expansion took place in southern Jiangsu, where the rate of built-up land expansion was faster than in central and northern Jiangsu. Meanwhile, the spatial pattern changed remarkably; in general, the number of patches (NumP) showed a declining trend, and the mean patch size (MPS) and patch size standard deviation (PSSD) displayed increase trends. Furthermore, the relative importance of selected driven factors was identified by principal component analysis (PCA) and general linear model (GLM). The results showed that not only the relative importance of a specific driving factor may vary, but the driven factors may as well. The most important driven factor changed from urban population (UP), secondary gross domestic product (SGDP) and gross domestic product (GDP) during 2000–2005 to resident population (RP), population density (POD) and UP during 2005–2008, and the deviance explained (DE) decreased from 91.60% to 81.04%. Policies also had significant impacts on land use change, which can be divided into direct and indirect impacts. Development policies usually had indirect impacts, particularly economic development policies, which promote the economic development to cause land use change, while land management policies had direct impacts. We suggest that the government should think comprehensively and cautiously when proposing a new development strategy or plan. Full article
Open AccessArticle From Eutrophic to Mesotrophic: Modelling Watershed Management Scenarios to Change the Trophic Status of a Reservoir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3015-3031; doi:10.3390/ijerph110303015
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 5 March 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 12 March 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Management decisions related with water quality in lakes and reservoirs require a combined land-water processes study approach. This study reports on an integrated watershed-reservoir modeling methodology: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the nutrient input loads from the watershed,
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Management decisions related with water quality in lakes and reservoirs require a combined land-water processes study approach. This study reports on an integrated watershed-reservoir modeling methodology: the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to estimate the nutrient input loads from the watershed, used afterwards as boundary conditions to the reservoir model, CE-QUAL-W2. The integrated modeling system was applied to the Torrão reservoir and drainage basin. The objective of the study was to quantify the total maximum input load that allows the reservoir to be classified as mesotrophic. Torrão reservoir is located in the Tâmega River, one of the most important tributaries of the Douro River in Portugal. The watershed is characterized by a variety of land uses and urban areas, accounting for a total Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) discharge of ~100,000 p.e. According to the criteria defined by the National Water Institute (based on the WWTP Directive), the Torrão reservoir is classified as eutrophic. Model estimates show that a 10% reduction in nutrient loads will suffice to change the state to mesotrophic, and should target primarily WWTP effluents, but also act on diffuse sources. The method applied in this study should provide a basis for water environmental management decision-making. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparing the Selection and Placement of Best Management Practices in Improving Water Quality Using a Multiobjective Optimization and Targeting Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2992-3014; doi:10.3390/ijerph110302992
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1899 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Suites of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are usually selected to be economically and environmentally efficient in reducing nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants from agricultural areas in a watershed. The objective of this research was to compare the selection and placement of BMPs in a
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Suites of Best Management Practices (BMPs) are usually selected to be economically and environmentally efficient in reducing nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants from agricultural areas in a watershed. The objective of this research was to compare the selection and placement of BMPs in a pasture-dominated watershed using multiobjective optimization and targeting methods. Two objective functions were used in the optimization process, which minimize pollutant losses and the BMP placement areas. The optimization tool was an integration of a multi-objective genetic algorithm (GA) and a watershed model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool—SWAT). For the targeting method, an optimum BMP option was implemented in critical areas in the watershed that contribute the greatest pollutant losses. A total of 171 BMP combinations, which consist of grazing management, vegetated filter strips (VFS), and poultry litter applications were considered. The results showed that the optimization is less effective when vegetated filter strips (VFS) are not considered, and it requires much longer computation times than the targeting method to search for optimum BMPs. Although the targeting method is effective in selecting and placing an optimum BMP, larger areas are needed for BMP implementation to achieve the same pollutant reductions as the optimization method. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Agricultural Land Use Change in the Middle Reach of the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 2698-2712; doi:10.3390/ijerph110302698
Received: 5 November 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (865 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in arid Northwest China. The expanding agricultural irrigation, growing industrialization, and increasing urban development in the middle reach have depleted much of the river flow to the lower reach, degrading the
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The Heihe River Basin (HRB) is the second largest inland river basin in arid Northwest China. The expanding agricultural irrigation, growing industrialization, and increasing urban development in the middle reach have depleted much of the river flow to the lower reach, degrading the corresponding ecosystems. Since the enactment of the State Council of China’s new HRB water allocation policy in 2000 tremendous land use and land cover (LULC) changes have taken place to reduce water consumption in the middle reach and deliver more water downstream. This paper analyzes LULC changes during the period of 2000–2009 to understand how the changing land use patterns have altered water resource dynamics in the region. Results, while yet to be further verified in the field, show that from 2000 to 2009, urban, agricultural land, rangeland, and forest areas have increased, and barren area has decreased. Within the cropland, rice (a high water consumption crop) planting area decreased, while corn and wheat (relatively lower water consumption crops) planting areas increased. These changes in land use patterns, especially in the agricultural zones, have ensured the discharge of the required amount of water to the lower reach. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing and Mapping Spatial Associations among Oral Cancer Mortality Rates, Concentrations of Heavy Metals in Soil, and Land Use Types Based on Multiple Scale Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 2148-2168; doi:10.3390/ijerph110202148
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 30 January 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2014 / Published: 21 February 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a deconvolution procedure was used to create a variogram of oral cancer (OC) rates. Based on the variogram, area-to-point (ATP) Poisson kriging and p-field simulation were used to downscale and simulate, respectively, the OC rate data for Taiwan from the
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In this study, a deconvolution procedure was used to create a variogram of oral cancer (OC) rates. Based on the variogram, area-to-point (ATP) Poisson kriging and p-field simulation were used to downscale and simulate, respectively, the OC rate data for Taiwan from the district scale to a 1 km × 1 km grid scale. Local cluster analysis (LCA) of OC mortality rates was then performed to identify OC mortality rate hot spots based on the downscaled and the p-field-simulated OC mortality maps. The relationship between OC mortality and land use was studied by overlapping the maps of the downscaled OC mortality, the LCA results, and the land uses. One thousand simulations were performed to quantify local and spatial uncertainties in the LCA to identify OC mortality hot spots. The scatter plots and Spearman’s rank correlation yielded the relationship between OC mortality and concentrations of the seven metals in the 1 km cell grid. The correlation analysis results for the 1 km scale revealed a weak correlation between OC mortality rate and concentrations of the seven studied heavy metals in soil. Accordingly, the heavy metal concentrations in soil are not major determinants of OC mortality rates at the 1 km scale at which soils were sampled. The LCA statistical results for local indicator of spatial association (LISA) revealed that the sites with high probability of high-high (high value surrounded by high values) OC mortality at the 1 km grid scale were clustered in southern, eastern, and mid-western Taiwan. The number of such sites was also significantly higher on agricultural land and in urban regions than on land with other uses. The proposed approach can be used to downscale and evaluate uncertainty in mortality data from a coarse scale to a fine scale at which useful additional information can be obtained for assessing and managing land use and risk. Full article
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Ecological Quality of the Environment and Influencing Factors in China during 2005–2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1673-1693; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201673
Received: 5 December 2013 / Revised: 21 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 30 January 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1923 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since the twentieth century, China has been facing various kinds of environmental problems. It is necessary to evaluate and analyze the ecological status of the environment over China, which is of great importance for environmental protection measures. In this article, an Eco-environmental Quality
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Since the twentieth century, China has been facing various kinds of environmental problems. It is necessary to evaluate and analyze the ecological status of the environment over China, which is of great importance for environmental protection measures. In this article, an Eco-environmental Quality Index (EQI) model is established using national remote sensing land-use data, NDVI data from MODIS and other statistical data. The model is used to evaluate the ecological status over China during 2005, 2008 and 2010, and spatial and temporal variations in EQI are analyzed during the period 2005–2010. We also discuss important factors affecting ecological quality, with special emphasis on meteorological conditions (including rainfall and sunshine duration) and anthropogenic factors (including normalized population and gross domestic product densities). The results show that, EQIs in northwestern China are generally lower than those in the southeast of the country, presenting a ladder-like distribution. There is significant correlation between EQI, rainfall and sunshine duration. Population density and GDP also have some relation to EQI. On the whole, the environmental quality results showed little variation during 2005–2010, with national average EQIs of 54.86, 55.07 and 54.43 in 2005, 2008 and 2010, respectively. During 2005–2010, differences in EQI were observed at the local level, but those at the provincial level were small. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cooling Effect of Rivers on Metropolitan Taipei Using Remote Sensing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(2), 1195-1210; doi:10.3390/ijerph110201195
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study applied remote sensing technology to analyze how rivers in the urban environment affect the surface temperature of their ambient areas. While surface meteorological stations can supply accurate data points in the city, remote sensing can provide such data in a two-dimensional
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This study applied remote sensing technology to analyze how rivers in the urban environment affect the surface temperature of their ambient areas. While surface meteorological stations can supply accurate data points in the city, remote sensing can provide such data in a two-dimensional (2-D) manner. The goal of this paper is to apply the remote sensing technique to further our understanding of the relationship between the surface temperature and rivers in urban areas. The 2-D surface temperature data was retrieved from Landsat-7 thermal infrared images, while data collected by Formosat-2 was used to categorize the land uses in the urban area. The land surface temperature distribution is simulated by a sigmoid function with nonlinear regression analysis. Combining the aforementioned data, the range of effect on the surface temperature from rivers can be derived. With the remote sensing data collected for the Taipei Metropolitan area, factors affecting the surface temperature were explored. It indicated that the effect on the developed area was less significant than on the ambient nature zone; moreover, the size of the buffer zone between the river and city, such as the wetlands or flood plain, was found to correlate with the affected distance of the river surface temperature. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the Preservation Value and Location of Farm Ponds in Yunlin County, Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 548-572; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100548
Received: 7 October 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Farm ponds in Yunlin County first appeared in 1,622 and have played roles in habitation, production, the ecology, culture, and disaster reduction. Farm ponds largely disappeared with the development of urban areas and the industrial sector; thus, effective preservation of the remaining ponds
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Farm ponds in Yunlin County first appeared in 1,622 and have played roles in habitation, production, the ecology, culture, and disaster reduction. Farm ponds largely disappeared with the development of urban areas and the industrial sector; thus, effective preservation of the remaining ponds is critical. The criteria to evaluate the preservation value of farm ponds is established by expert questionnaires which follow the Fuzzy Delphi Method (FDM) and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP), and GIS, which are integrated into a spatial analysis of the remaining 481 farm ponds in Yunlin County. The results show that 28 ponds should be preserved to continue the cultural interaction between farm ponds and settlements; 36 ponds should preserved to connect coasts and streams, which are important habitats for birds; 30 ponds should be preserved to increase storage capacity, recharge groundwater, and reduce land subsidence; four ponds should be preserved as Feng-Shui ponds in front of temples in settlements or as recreation areas for local citizens; and four farms should be preserved (high priority) in agricultural production areas to support irrigation. In short, FAHP and GIS are integrated to evaluate the number and locations of farm ponds that provide water for habitation, production, the ecology, culture, and disaster reduction and maintain the overall preservation value in Yunlin County. The results could inform governmental departments when considering conservation policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Street-Level Spatial-Temporal Variations of Carbon Monoxide in Urban Settings Using a Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) Framework
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6380-6396; doi:10.3390/ijerph10126380
Received: 12 August 2013 / Revised: 12 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1878 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution has become a severe environmental problem due to urbanization and heavy traffic. Monitoring street-level air quality is an important issue, but most official monitoring stations are installed to monitor large-scale air quality conditions, and their limited spatial resolution cannot reflect the
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Air pollution has become a severe environmental problem due to urbanization and heavy traffic. Monitoring street-level air quality is an important issue, but most official monitoring stations are installed to monitor large-scale air quality conditions, and their limited spatial resolution cannot reflect the detailed variations in air quality that may be induced by traffic jams. By deploying wireless sensors on crossroads and main roads, this study established a pilot framework for a wireless sensor network (WSN)-based real-time monitoring system to understand street-level spatial-temporal changes of carbon monoxide (CO) in urban settings. The system consists of two major components. The first component is the deployment of wireless sensors. We deployed 44 sensor nodes, 40 transmitter nodes and four gateway nodes in this study. Each sensor node includes a signal processing module, a CO sensor and a wireless communication module. In order to capture realistic human exposure to traffic pollutants, all sensors were deployed at a height of 1.5 m on lampposts and traffic signs. The study area covers a total length of 1.5 km of Keelung Road in Taipei City. The other component is a map-based monitoring platform for sensor data visualization and manipulation in time and space. Using intensive real-time street-level monitoring framework, we compared the spatial-temporal patterns of air pollution in different time periods. Our results capture four CO concentration peaks throughout the day at the location, which was located along an arterial and nearby traffic sign. The hourly average could reach 5.3 ppm from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm due to the traffic congestion. The proposed WSN-based framework captures detailed ground information and potential risk of human exposure to traffic-related air pollution. It also provides street-level insights into real-time monitoring for further early warning of air pollution and urban environmental management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Study on Association between Spatial Distribution of Metal Mines and Disease Mortality: A Case Study in Suxian District, South China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 5163-5177; doi:10.3390/ijerph10105163
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 23 September 2013 / Accepted: 1 October 2013 / Published: 16 October 2013
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Abstract
Metal mines release toxic substances into the environment and can therefore negatively impact the health of residents in nearby regions. This paper sought to investigate whether there was excess disease mortality in populations in the vicinity of the mining area in Suxian District,
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Metal mines release toxic substances into the environment and can therefore negatively impact the health of residents in nearby regions. This paper sought to investigate whether there was excess disease mortality in populations in the vicinity of the mining area in Suxian District, South China. The spatial distribution of metal mining and related activities from 1985 to 2012, which was derived from remote sensing imagery, was overlapped with disease mortality data. Three hotspot areas with high disease mortality were identified around the Shizhuyuan mine sites, i.e., the Dengjiatang metal smelting sites, and the Xianxichong mine sites. Disease mortality decreased with the distance to the mining and smelting areas. Population exposure to pollution was estimated on the basis of distance from town of residence to pollution source. The risk of dying according to disease mortality rates was analyzed within 7–25 km buffers. The results suggested that there was a close relationship between the risk of disease mortality and proximity to the Suxian District mining industries. These associations were dependent on the type and scale of mining activities, the area influenced by mining and so on. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Upscaling Method for Cover-Management Factor and Its Application in the Loess Plateau of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4752-4766; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104752
Received: 25 July 2013 / Revised: 26 September 2013 / Accepted: 27 September 2013 / Published: 9 October 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1929 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The cover-management factor (C-factor) is important for studying soil erosion. In addition, it is important to use sampling plot data to estimate the regional C-factor when assessing erosion and soil conservation. Here, the loess hill and gully region in Ansai County, China, was
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The cover-management factor (C-factor) is important for studying soil erosion. In addition, it is important to use sampling plot data to estimate the regional C-factor when assessing erosion and soil conservation. Here, the loess hill and gully region in Ansai County, China, was studied to determine a method for computing the C-factor. This C-factor is used in the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) at a regional scale. After upscaling the slope-scale computational equation, the C-factor for Ansai County was calculated by using the soil loss ratio, precipitation and land use/cover type. The multi-year mean C-factor for Ansai County was 0.36. The C-factor values were greater in the eastern region of the county than in the western region. In addition, the lowest C-factor values were found in the southern region of the county near its southern border. These spatial differences were consistent with the spatial distribution of the soil loess ratios across areas with different land uses. Additional research is needed to determine the effects of seasonal vegetation growth changes on the C-factor, and the C-factor upscaling uncertainties at a regional scale. Full article
Open AccessArticle Identifying the Relationships between Water Quality and Land Cover Changes in the Tseng-Wen Reservoir Watershed of Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 478-489; doi:10.3390/ijerph10020478
Received: 22 September 2012 / Revised: 31 December 2012 / Accepted: 21 January 2013 / Published: 28 January 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects on water quality of land use and land cover changes, which are associated with human activities and natural factors, are poorly identified. Fine resolution satellite imagery provides opportunities for land cover monitoring and assessment. The multiple satellite images after typhoon events
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The effects on water quality of land use and land cover changes, which are associated with human activities and natural factors, are poorly identified. Fine resolution satellite imagery provides opportunities for land cover monitoring and assessment. The multiple satellite images after typhoon events collected from 2001 to 2010 covering land areas and land cover conditions are evaluated by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The relationship between land cover and observed water quality, such as suspended solids (SS) and nitrate-nitrogens (NO3-N), are explored in the study area. Results show that the long-term variations in water quality are explained by NDVI data in the reservoir buffer zones. Suspended solid and nitrate concentrations are related to average NDVI values on multiple spatial scales. Annual NO3-N concentrations are positively correlated with an average NDVI with a 1 km reservoir buffer area, and the SS after typhoon events associated with landslides are negatively correlated with the average NDVI in the entire watershed. This study provides an approach for assessing the influences of land cover on variations in water quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Ecological Risk Assessment of Land Use Change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 328-346; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010328
Received: 23 August 2012 / Revised: 17 December 2012 / Accepted: 5 January 2013 / Published: 14 January 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (1226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use/land cover change has been attracting increasing attention in the field of global environmental change research because of its role in the social and ecological environment. To explore the ecological risk characteristics of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone
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Land use/land cover change has been attracting increasing attention in the field of global environmental change research because of its role in the social and ecological environment. To explore the ecological risk characteristics of land use change in the Poyang Lake Eco-economic Zone of China, an eco-risk index was established in this study by the combination of a landscape disturbance index with a landscape fragmentation index. Spatial distribution and gradient difference of land use eco-risk are analyzed by using the methods of spatial autocorrelation and semivariance. Results show that ecological risk in the study area has a positive correlation, and there is a decreasing trend with the increase of grain size both in 1995 and 2005. Because the area of high eco-risk value increased from 1995 to 2005, eco-environment quality declined slightly in the study area. There are distinct spatial changes in the concentrated areas with high land use eco-risk values from 1995 to 2005. The step length of spatial separation of land use eco-risk is comparatively long — 58 km in 1995 and 11 km in 2005 — respectively. There are still nonstructural factors affecting the quality of the regional ecological environment at some small-scales. Our research results can provide some useful information for land eco-management, eco-environmental harnessing and restoration. In the future, some measures should be put forward in the regions with high eco-risk value, which include strengthening land use management, avoiding unreasonable types of land use and reducing the degree of fragmentation and separation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Assessing the Influence of Land Use and Land Cover Datasets with Different Points in Time and Levels of Detail on Watershed Modeling in the North River Watershed, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(1), 144-157; doi:10.3390/ijerph10010144
Received: 25 October 2012 / Revised: 22 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
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Abstract
Land use and land cover (LULC) information is an important component influencing watershed modeling with regards to hydrology and water quality in the river basin. In this study, the sensitivity of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to LULC datasets with
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Land use and land cover (LULC) information is an important component influencing watershed modeling with regards to hydrology and water quality in the river basin. In this study, the sensitivity of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to LULC datasets with three points in time and three levels of detail was assessed in a coastal subtropical watershed located in Southeast China. The results showed good agreement between observed and simulated values for both monthly and daily streamflow and monthly NH4+-N and TP loads. Three LULC datasets in 2002, 2007 and 2010 had relatively little influence on simulated monthly and daily streamflow, whereas they exhibited greater effects on simulated monthly NH4+-N and TP loads. When using the two LULC datasets in 2007 and 2010 compared with that in 2002, the relative differences in predicted monthly NH4+-N and TP loads were −11.0 to −7.8% and −4.8 to −9.0%, respectively. There were no significant differences in simulated monthly and daily streamflow when using the three LULC datasets with ten, five and three categories. When using LULC datasets from ten categories compared to five and three categories, the relative differences in predicted monthly NH4+-N and TP loads were −6.6 to −6.5% and −13.3 to −7.3%, respectively. Overall, the sensitivity of the SWAT model to LULC datasets with different points in time and levels of detail was lower in monthly and daily streamflow simulation than in monthly NH4+-N and TP loads prediction. This research provided helpful insights into the influence of LULC datasets on watershed modeling. Full article
Open AccessArticle Contribution to Surface Water Contamination Understanding by Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals, at a Watershed Scale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4433-4451; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124433
Received: 10 September 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 19 November 2012 / Published: 4 December 2012
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Abstract
This study aims at understanding the presence of regulated and emerging micropollutants, particularly pesticides and pharmaceuticals, in surface water, regarding spatial and temporal influences at a watershed scale. The study of relations between micropollutants and other water quality and hydroclimatic parameters was carried
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This study aims at understanding the presence of regulated and emerging micropollutants, particularly pesticides and pharmaceuticals, in surface water, regarding spatial and temporal influences at a watershed scale. The study of relations between micropollutants and other water quality and hydroclimatic parameters was carried out from a statistical analysis on historical and experimental data of different sampling sites from the main watershed of Brittany, western France. The outcomes point out the influence of urban and rural areas of the watershed as well as the impact of seasons on contamination variations. This work contributes to health risk assessment related to surface water contamination by micropollutants. This approach is particularly interesting in the case of agricultural watersheds such as the one studied, where more than 80% of surface water is used to produce drinking water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment and Hierarchical Risk Management of Enterprises in Chemical Industrial Parks Based on Catastrophe Theory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4386-4402; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124386
Received: 19 October 2012 / Revised: 13 November 2012 / Accepted: 27 November 2012 / Published: 3 December 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
According to risk systems theory and the characteristics of the chemical industry, an index system was established for risk assessment of enterprises in chemical industrial parks (CIPs) based on the inherent risk of the source, effectiveness of the prevention and control mechanism, and
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According to risk systems theory and the characteristics of the chemical industry, an index system was established for risk assessment of enterprises in chemical industrial parks (CIPs) based on the inherent risk of the source, effectiveness of the prevention and control mechanism, and vulnerability of the receptor. A comprehensive risk assessment method based on catastrophe theory was then proposed and used to analyze the risk levels of ten major chemical enterprises in the Songmu Island CIP, China. According to the principle of equal distribution function, the chemical enterprise risk level was divided into the following five levels: 1.0 (very safe), 0.8 (safe), 0.6 (generally recognized as safe, GRAS), 0.4 (unsafe), 0.2 (very unsafe). The results revealed five enterprises (50%) with an unsafe risk level, and another five enterprises (50%) at the generally recognized as safe risk level. This method solves the multi-objective evaluation and decision-making problem. Additionally, this method involves simple calculations and provides an effective technique for risk assessment and hierarchical risk management of enterprises in CIPs. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Statistical Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Land Use Intensity on Regional Surface Water Quality at Multiple Scales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4170-4186; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114170
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 29 October 2012 / Accepted: 9 November 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
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Abstract
Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity
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Understanding the effects of intensive agricultural land use activities on water resources is essential for natural resource management and environmental improvement. In this paper, multi-scale nested watersheds were delineated and the relationships between two representative water quality indexes and agricultural land use intensity were assessed and quantified for the year 2000 using multi-scale regression analysis. The results show that the log-transformed nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) index exhibited a relationship with chemical fertilizer input intensity and several natural factors, including soil loss, rainfall and sunlight at the first order watershed scale, while permanganate index (CODMn) had a positive relationship with another two input intensities of pesticides and agricultural plastic mulch and organic manure at the fifth order watershed scale. The first order watershed and the fifth order watershed were considered as the watershed adaptive response units for NO3-N and CODMn, respectively. The adjustment of agricultural input and its intensity may be carried out inside the individual watershed adaptive response unit. The multiple linear regression model demonstrated the cause-and-effect relationship between agricultural land use intensity and stream water quality at multiple scales, which is an important factor for the maintenance of stream water quality. Full article
Open AccessArticle Adaptation of Land-Use Demands to the Impact of Climate Change on the Hydrological Processes of an Urbanized Watershed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 4083-4102; doi:10.3390/ijerph9114083
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 7 October 2012 / Accepted: 1 November 2012 / Published: 12 November 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adaptation of land-use patterns is an essential aspect of minimizing the inevitable impact of climate change at regional and local scales; for example, adapting watershed land-use patterns to mitigate the impact of climate change on a region’s hydrology. The objective of this
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The adaptation of land-use patterns is an essential aspect of minimizing the inevitable impact of climate change at regional and local scales; for example, adapting watershed land-use patterns to mitigate the impact of climate change on a region’s hydrology. The objective of this study is to simulate and assess a region’s ability to adapt to hydrological changes by modifying land-use patterns in the Wu-Du watershed in northern Taiwan. A hydrological GWLF (Generalized Watershed Loading Functions) model is used to simulate three hydrological components, namely, runoff, groundwater and streamflow, based on various land-use scenarios under six global climate models. The land-use allocations are simulated by the CLUE-s model for the various development scenarios. The simulation results show that runoff and streamflow are strongly related to the precipitation levels predicted by different global climate models for the wet and dry seasons, but groundwater cycles are more related to land-use. The effects of climate change on groundwater and runoff can be mitigated by modifying current land-use patterns; and slowing the rate of urbanization would also reduce the impact of climate change on hydrological components. Thus, land-use adaptation on a local/regional scale provides an alternative way to reduce the impacts of global climate change on local hydrology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Examining Land-Use/Land-Cover Change in the Lake Dianchi Watershed of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China with Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques: 1974–2008
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(11), 3843-3865; doi:10.3390/ijerph9113843
Received: 28 August 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 24 October 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (916 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Monitoring land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) and exploring its mechanisms are important processes in the environmental management of a lake watershed. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of LULCC by using multi landscape metrics in the Lake Dianchi watershed, which
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Monitoring land-use/land-cover change (LULCC) and exploring its mechanisms are important processes in the environmental management of a lake watershed. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal pattern of LULCC by using multi landscape metrics in the Lake Dianchi watershed, which is located in the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau of Southwest China. Landsat images from the years 1974, 1988, 1998, and 2008 were analyzed using geographical information system (GIS) techniques. The results reveal that land-use/land-cover has changed greatly in the watershed since 1974. This change in land use structure was embodied in the rapid increase of developed areas with a relative change rate of up to 324.4%. The increase in developed areas mainly occurred in agricultural land, especially near the shores of Lake Dianchi. The spatial pattern and structure of the change was influenced by the urban sprawl of the city of Kunming. The urban sprawl took on the typical expansion mode of cyclic structures and a jigsaw pattern and expanded to the shore of Lake Dianchi. Agricultural land changed little with respect to the structure but changed greatly in the spatial pattern. The landscape in the watershed showed a trend of fragmentation with a complex boundary. The dynamics of land-use/land-cover in the watershed correlate with land-use policies and economic development in China. Full article
Open AccessArticle An Integrated Risk Management Model for Source Water Protection Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(10), 3724-3739; doi:10.3390/ijerph9103724
Received: 31 August 2012 / Revised: 26 September 2012 / Accepted: 27 September 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1710 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Watersheds are recognized as the most effective management unit for the protection of water resources. For surface water supplies that use water from upstream watersheds, evaluating threats to water quality and implementing a watershed management plan are crucial for the maintenance of drinking
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Watersheds are recognized as the most effective management unit for the protection of water resources. For surface water supplies that use water from upstream watersheds, evaluating threats to water quality and implementing a watershed management plan are crucial for the maintenance of drinking water safe for humans. The aim of this article is to establish a risk assessment model that provides basic information for identifying critical pollutants and areas at high risk for degraded water quality. In this study, a quantitative risk model that uses hazard quotients for each water quality parameter was combined with a qualitative risk model that uses the relative risk level of potential pollution events in order to characterize the current condition and potential risk of watersheds providing drinking water. In a case study of Taipei Source Water Area in northern Taiwan, total coliforms and total phosphorus were the top two pollutants of concern. Intensive tea-growing and recreational activities around the riparian zone may contribute the greatest pollution to the watershed. Our risk assessment tool may be enhanced by developing, recording, and updating information on pollution sources in the water supply watersheds. Moreover, management authorities could use the resultant information to create watershed risk management plans. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Multimetric Benthic Macroinvertebrate Index for the Assessment of Stream Biotic Integrity in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(10), 3599-3628; doi:10.3390/ijerph9103599
Received: 27 August 2012 / Revised: 17 September 2012 / Accepted: 25 September 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
At a time when anthropogenic activities are increasingly disturbing the overall ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems, monitoring of biological communities is central to assessing the health and function of streams. This study aimed to use a large nation-wide database to develop a multimetric
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At a time when anthropogenic activities are increasingly disturbing the overall ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems, monitoring of biological communities is central to assessing the health and function of streams. This study aimed to use a large nation-wide database to develop a multimetric index (the Korean Benthic macroinvertebrate Index of Biological Integrity—KB-IBI) applicable to the biological assessment of Korean streams. Reference and impaired conditions were determined based on watershed, chemical and physical criteria. Eight of an initial 34 candidate metrics were selected using a stepwise procedure that evaluated metric variability, redundancy, sensitivity and responsiveness to environmental gradients. The selected metrics were number of taxa, percent Ephemeroptera-Plecoptera-Trichoptera (EPT) individuals, percent of a dominant taxon, percent taxa abundance without Chironomidae, Shannon’s diversity index, percent gatherer individuals, ratio of filterers and scrapers, and the Korean saprobic index. Our multimetric index successfully distinguished reference from impaired conditions. A scoring system was established for each core metric using its quartile range and response to anthropogenic disturbances. The multimetric index was classified by aggregating the individual metric ..scores and the value range was quadrisected to provide a narrative criterion (Poor, Fair, Good and Excellent) to describe the biological integrity of the streams in the study. A validation procedure showed that the index is an effective method for evaluating stream conditions, and thus is appropriate for use in future studies measuring the long-term status of streams, and the effectiveness of restoration methods. Full article
Open AccessArticle Implementation of BMP Strategies for Adaptation to Climate Change and Land Use Change in a Pasture-Dominated Watershed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(10), 3654-3684; doi:10.3390/ijerph9103654
Received: 3 September 2012 / Revised: 26 September 2012 / Accepted: 5 October 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Implementing a suite of best management practices (BMPs) can reduce non-point source (NPS) pollutants from various land use activities. Watershed models are generally used to evaluate the effectiveness of BMP performance in improving water quality as the basis for watershed management recommendations. This
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Implementing a suite of best management practices (BMPs) can reduce non-point source (NPS) pollutants from various land use activities. Watershed models are generally used to evaluate the effectiveness of BMP performance in improving water quality as the basis for watershed management recommendations. This study evaluates 171 management practice combinations that incorporate nutrient management, vegetated filter strips (VFS) and grazing management for their performances in improving water quality in a pasture-dominated watershed with dynamic land use changes during 1992–2007 by using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). These selected BMPs were further examined with future climate conditions (2010–2069) downscaled from three general circulation models (GCMs) for understanding how climate change may impact BMP performance. Simulation results indicate that total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) losses increase with increasing litter application rates. Alum-treated litter applications resulted in greater TN losses, and fewer TP losses than the losses from untreated poultry litter applications. For the same litter application rates, sediment and TP losses are greater for summer applications than fall and spring applications, while TN losses are greater for fall applications. Overgrazing management resulted in the greatest sediment and phosphorus losses, and VFS is the most influential management practice in reducing pollutant losses. Simulations also indicate that climate change impacts TSS losses the most, resulting in a larger magnitude of TSS losses. However, the performance of selected BMPs in reducing TN and TP losses was more stable in future climate change conditions than in the BMP performance in the historical climate condition. We recommend that selection of BMPs to reduce TSS losses should be a priority concern when multiple uses of BMPs that benefit nutrient reductions are considered in a watershed. Therefore, the BMP combination of spring litter application, optimum grazing management and filter strip with a VFS ratio of 42 could be a promising alternative for use in mitigating future climate change. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Coupling Kinetics Model for Pollutant Release and Transport in the Process of Landfill Settlement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(10), 3437-3453; doi:10.3390/ijerph9103437
Received: 31 May 2012 / Revised: 12 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 September 2012 / Published: 27 September 2012
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Abstract
A coupling kinetics model is developed to simulate the release and transport of landfill leachate pollutants in a deformable municipal solid waste landfill by taking into account of landfill settlement, seepage of leachate water, hydrolyse of insoluble and degradable organic pollutants in solid
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A coupling kinetics model is developed to simulate the release and transport of landfill leachate pollutants in a deformable municipal solid waste landfill by taking into account of landfill settlement, seepage of leachate water, hydrolyse of insoluble and degradable organic pollutants in solid phase, biodegradation of soluble and degradable organic pollutants in solid phase and aqueous one, growth of aerobic and anaerobic microorganism, and consumption of dissolved oxygen. The release and transport of organic pollutants and microorganisms in landfills in the process of landfill settlement was simulated by considering no hydraulic effect. Simulation results demonstrated that the interaction between landfill settlement and the release, transport and biodegradation of landfill leachate pollutants was significant. Porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity were not constants because of the landfill settlement, which affected the release, transport and biodegradation of landfill leachate pollutants, and furthermore acted on the landfill settlement. The simulation results accorded with the practical situation, which preliminarily verified the reliability of the mathematical model and the numerical program in this paper. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Developing a Tunnel across a Highway on the Water Quality in an Upstream Reservoir Watershed Area—A Case Study of the Hsuehshan Tunnel in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3344-3353; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093344
Received: 10 July 2012 / Revised: 14 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 19 September 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities in Taiwan are so dependent on reservoir water that preservation of the upstream reservoir watershed has become a significant public concern. However, due to the high-density development of land, resulting in rapid urban expansion, the construction of tunnels and elevated highways across
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Cities in Taiwan are so dependent on reservoir water that preservation of the upstream reservoir watershed has become a significant public concern. However, due to the high-density development of land, resulting in rapid urban expansion, the construction of tunnels and elevated highways across reservoirs to better utilize the surrounding land has become a global trend. Based on data from long-term observation of the reservoir, this study verifies the difference in water quality before and after the highway construction. The results indicate that the total phosphorus (TP) increased on average 14 μg/L to 36.5 μg/L per annum, and the water quality is expected to require 10 years to recover. During the highway development, the average TP was more than twice the normal level. During summer, the TP level increases 3.1-fold due to rainfall. As indicated by the results, the large-scale land development will harm the long-term preservation of the reservoir’s water quality, and therefore should be avoided. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimation of River Pollution Index in a Tidal Stream Using Kriging Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(9), 3085-3100; doi:10.3390/ijerph9093085
Received: 20 June 2012 / Revised: 16 August 2012 / Accepted: 21 August 2012 / Published: 29 August 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tidal streams are complex watercourses that represent a transitional zone between riverine and marine systems; they occur where fresh and marine waters converge. Because tidal circulation processes cause substantial turbulence in these highly dynamic zones, tidal streams are the most productive of water
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Tidal streams are complex watercourses that represent a transitional zone between riverine and marine systems; they occur where fresh and marine waters converge. Because tidal circulation processes cause substantial turbulence in these highly dynamic zones, tidal streams are the most productive of water bodies. Their rich biological diversity, combined with the convenience of land and water transports, provide sites for concentrated populations that evolve into large cities. Domestic wastewater is generally discharged directly into tidal streams in Taiwan, necessitating regular evaluation of the water quality of these streams. Given the complex flow dynamics of tidal streams, only a few models can effectively evaluate and identify pollution levels. This study evaluates the river pollution index (RPI) in tidal streams by using kriging analysis. This is a geostatistical method for interpolating random spatial variation to estimate linear grid points in two or three dimensions. A kriging-based method is developed to evaluate RPI in tidal streams, which is typically considered as 1D in hydraulic engineering. The proposed method efficiently evaluates RPI in tidal streams with the minimum amount of water quality data. Data of the Tanshui River downstream reach available from an estuarine area validate the accuracy and reliability of the proposed method. Results of this study demonstrate that this simple yet reliable method can effectively estimate RPI in tidal streams. Full article
Open AccessArticle Simulation of Regionally Ecological Land Based on a Cellular Automation Model: A Case Study of Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2986-3001; doi:10.3390/ijerph9082986
Received: 12 July 2012 / Revised: 21 July 2012 / Accepted: 8 August 2012 / Published: 17 August 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ecological land is like the “liver” of a city and is very useful to public health. Ecological land change is a spatially dynamic non-linear process under the interaction between natural and anthropogenic factors at different scales. In this study, by setting up natural
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Ecological land is like the “liver” of a city and is very useful to public health. Ecological land change is a spatially dynamic non-linear process under the interaction between natural and anthropogenic factors at different scales. In this study, by setting up natural development scenario, object orientation scenario and ecosystem priority scenario, a Cellular Automation (CA) model has been established to simulate the evolution pattern of ecological land in Beijing in the year 2020. Under the natural development scenario, most of ecological land will be replaced by construction land and crop land. But under the scenarios of object orientation and ecosystem priority, the ecological land area will increase, especially under the scenario of ecosystem priority. When considering the factors such as total area of ecological land, loss of key ecological land and spatial patterns of land use, the scenarios from priority to inferiority are ecosystem priority, object orientation and natural development, so future land management policies in Beijing should be focused on conversion of cropland to forest, wetland protection and prohibition of exploitation of natural protection zones, water source areas and forest parks to maintain the safety of the regional ecosystem. Full article
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Pattern of High Temperature Areas in Urban Greenery of Nanjing City, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2922-2935; doi:10.3390/ijerph9082922
Received: 19 July 2012 / Revised: 6 August 2012 / Accepted: 9 August 2012 / Published: 16 August 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most studies are concerned with the cooling effect of urban greenery, but some have also revealed that some patches changed from normal temperature areas (NTAs) into high temperature areas (HTAs). Landsat TMimages and ArcGIS software are used to analyze the HTA patterns
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Most studies are concerned with the cooling effect of urban greenery, but some have also revealed that some patches changed from normal temperature areas (NTAs) into high temperature areas (HTAs). Landsat TM images and ArcGIS software are used to analyze the HTA patterns in Nanjing, China. The HTAs’ lower limit temperature was defined as the 30.26 °C and the percentage of the HTAs in all greenery was 24.87%. The disturbance on the cooling effect existed but not evidently. The average impervious ratio (IR) and surface temperature (ST) of HTAs, respectively, were 3.76 times and higher 2.86 °C than those of NTAs. The structure of NTAs’ IR levels was extremely uneven but the HTAs’ were relatively even. However, the co-coefficient between the IR and ST in the whole greenery was small. Sampling analysis with the same ST and IR revealed that the complex environment in green buffer affected temperature differences; The adjacent HTAs, with its 89.78% in the study area, largely along the green patch, were far more than independent HTAs and presented a ring shape. Thus, the significantly heterogeneous urban environment inevitably resulted in diverse factors forming HTAs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Land Use Zoning at the County Level Based on a Multi-Objective Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm: A Case Study from Yicheng, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(8), 2801-2826; doi:10.3390/ijerph9082801
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 21 July 2012 / Accepted: 25 July 2012 / Published: 6 August 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1187 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprehensive land-use planning (CLUP) at the county level in China must include land-use zoning. This is specifically stipulated by the China Land Management Law and aims to achieve strict control on the usages of land. The land-use zoning problem is treated as a
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Comprehensive land-use planning (CLUP) at the county level in China must include land-use zoning. This is specifically stipulated by the China Land Management Law and aims to achieve strict control on the usages of land. The land-use zoning problem is treated as a multi-objective optimization problem (MOOP) in this article, which is different from the traditional treatment. A particle swarm optimization (PSO) based model is applied to the problem and is developed to maximize the attribute differences between land-use zones, the spatial compactness, the degree of spatial harmony and the ecological benefits of the land-use zones. This is subject to some constraints such as: the quantity limitations for varying land-use zones, regulations assigning land units to a certain land-use zone, and the stipulation of a minimum parcel area in a land-use zoning map. In addition, a crossover and mutation operator from a genetic algorithm is adopted to avoid the prematurity of PSO. The results obtained for Yicheng, a county in central China, using different objective weighting schemes, are compared and suggest that: (1) the fundamental demand for attribute difference between land-use zones leads to a mass of fragmentary land-use zones; (2) the spatial pattern of land-use zones is remarkably optimized when a weight is given to the sub-objectives of spatial compactness and the degree of spatial harmony, simultaneously, with a reduction of attribute difference between land-use zones; (3) when a weight is given to the sub-objective of ecological benefits of the land-use zones, the ecological benefits get a slight increase also at the expense of a reduction in attribute difference between land-use zones; (4) the pursuit of spatial harmony or spatial compactness may have a negative effect on each other; (5) an increase in the ecological benefits may improve the spatial compactness and spatial harmony of the land-use zones; (6) adjusting the weights assigned to each sub-objective can generate a corresponding optimal solution, with a different quantity structure and spatial pattern to satisfy the preference of the different decision makers; (7) the model proposed in this paper is capable of handling the land-use zoning problem, and the crossover and mutation operator can improve the performance of the model, but, nevertheless, leads to increased time consumption. Full article
Open AccessArticle Decomposition Analysis of Wastewater Pollutant Discharges in Industrial Sectors of China (2001–2009) Using the LMDI I Method
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(6), 2226-2240; doi:10.3390/ijerph9062226
Received: 11 May 2012 / Revised: 5 June 2012 / Accepted: 11 June 2012 / Published: 14 June 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s industry accounts for 46.8% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and plays an important strategic role in its economic growth. On the other hand, industrial wastewater is also the major source of water pollution. In order to examine the relationship between
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China’s industry accounts for 46.8% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and plays an important strategic role in its economic growth. On the other hand, industrial wastewater is also the major source of water pollution. In order to examine the relationship between the underlying driving forces and various environmental indicators, values of two critical industrial wastewater pollutant discharge parameters (Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and ammonia nitrogen (NH4-N)), between 2001 and 2009, were decomposed into three factors: i.e., production effects (caused by change in the scale of economic activity), structure effects (caused by change in economic structure) and intensity effects (caused by change in technological level of each sector), using additive version of the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI I) decomposition method. Results showed that: (1) the average annual effect of COD discharges in China was −2.99%, whereas the production effect, the structure effect, and the intensity effect were 14.64%, −1.39%, and −16.24%, respectively. Similarly, the average effect of NH4-N discharges was −4.03%, while the production effect, the structure effect, and the intensity effect were 16.18%, −2.88%, and −17.33%, respectively; (2) the production effect was the major factor responsible for the increase in COD and NH4-N discharges, accounting for 45% and 44% of the total contribution, respectively; (3) the intensity effect, which accounted for 50% and 48% of the total contribution, respectively, exerted a dominant decremental effect on COD and NH4-N discharges; intensity effect was further decomposed into cleaner production effect and pollution abatement effect with the cleaner production effect accounting for 60% and 55% of the reduction of COD and NH4-N, respectively; (4) the major contributors to incremental COD and NH4-N discharges were divided among industrial sub-sectors and the top contributors were identified. Potential restructuring and regulation measures were proposed for pollutant reduction. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Radiation-Driven Migration: The Case of Minamisoma City, Fukushima, Japan, after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9286-9305; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909286
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 22 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery
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The emigration of residents following the Fukushima nuclear accident has resulted in aging and depopulation problems in radiation-contaminated areas. The recovery of affected areas, and even those areas with low radioactive pollution levels, is still heavily affected by this problem. This slow recovery consequently affects immigration patterns. This review aims to present possible factors that have contributed to this dilemma. We first present an overview of the evacuation protocol that was administered in the study area following the Fukushima accident. We then analyze characteristics of the subsequent exodus by comparing population data for both before and after the accident. Based on the findings of existing literature, we identify three causes of emigration: (1) The health risks of living in a low radiation zone are still unknown; (2) The post-disaster psychological disturbance and distrust of government information promotes the emigration of evacuees; (3) an absence of economic vitality and of a leading industry renders the area less attractive to individuals residing outside of the city. Further research is needed on this issue, especially with respect to countermeasures for addressing this problem. Full article
Open AccessReview Snowmelt Runoff: A New Focus of Urban Nonpoint Source Pollution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4333-4345; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124333
Received: 31 August 2012 / Revised: 12 November 2012 / Accepted: 27 November 2012 / Published: 30 November 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irregular precipitation associated with global climate change had been causing various problems in urban regions. Besides the runoff due to rainfall in summer, the snowmelt runoff in early spring could also play an important role in deteriorating the water quality of the receiving
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Irregular precipitation associated with global climate change had been causing various problems in urban regions. Besides the runoff due to rainfall in summer, the snowmelt runoff in early spring could also play an important role in deteriorating the water quality of the receiving waters. Due to global climate change, the snowfall has increased gradually in individual regions, and snowstorms occur more frequently, which leads to an enhancement of snowmelt runoff flow during the melting seasons. What is more, rivers just awaking from freezing cosntitute a frail ecosystem, with poor self-purification capacity, however, the urban snowmelt runoff could carry diverse pollutants accumulated during the winter, such as coal and/or gas combustion products, snowmelting agents, automotive exhaust and so on, which seriously threaten the receiving water quality. Nevertheless, most of the research focused on the rainfall runoff in rainy seasons, and the study on snowmelt runoff is still a neglected field in many countries and regions. In conclusion, due to the considerable water quantity and the worrisome water quality, snowmelt runoff in urban regions with large impervious surface areas should be listed among the important targets in urban nonpoint source pollution management and control. Full article

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