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Special Issue "Earth Observation and Geoinformation Technologies for Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jamal Jokar Arsanjani

Geographic Information Science, Department of Planning and Development, Aalborg University Copenhagen, A.C. Meyers Vænge 15, DK-2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: volunteered geographic information (VGI); big (geo) data; crowdsourced mapping; citizen science; geocomputation; digital earth; remote sensing and spatio-temporal monitoring of environment; data fusion; (geo)data quality
Guest Editor
Dr. Eric Vaz

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spatial analysis; geographic information science; volunteered geographic information; geographic information systems; regional science; knowledge management; geodata; complex system analytics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Earth observation devices and geoinformation technologies, including remote sensing data, platforms, algorithms, geographic information science (GISc), and spatial analysis techniques have played a major role in monitoring the dynamics of our environment and landscape. Additionally, emerging active and passive sensing approaches, such as crowdsourcing, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), citizen science (CS), participatory sensing, humans-as-sensors, etc. allowed us to leverage the prior way of monitoring and sensing our landscapes. Both approaches provide a great deal of data and methodologies to scientists, practitioners, and planners, thus enabling a more efficient planning and design of the environment. This results in better environmental management and sustainable development and must be considered for better decision making.

In addition to the unprecedented growth of the world population, human activity has become more diversified than ever. Moreover, humans have been consuming more than ever. Thus, spatial and temporal monitoring efforts should be carried forth, so as to achieve a better understanding of our environment and its people, and to allow for a coherent approach to sustainable development. Multidisciplinary approaches can benefit from becoming leveraged with geoinformation technologies; these approaches should be undertaken for a better and deeper understanding of human-environment interactions.

This Special Issue aims to provide an innovative and pioneering contribution to the traditional approaches in regards to these issues. Furthermore, it focuses on the emerging opportunities and challenges of geoinformation, as innovative spatial analysis techniques and land policy and management issues progress via technological and computational advances.

Dr. Jamal Jokar Arsanjani
Dr. Eric Vaz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • Geotechnologies and Geographic Information Science (GISc)
  • Remote Sensing and human-assisted sensing
  • Collaborative mapping and Participatory sensing
  • Geocomputation, Spatial analysis and geosimulation
  • Predictive modeling techniques
  • Spatiotemporal monitoring/modelling of environment
  • Spatial decision Support Systems (SDSS)
  • Natural hazards monitoring and management
  • Sustainable urban Development and landscape planning
  • Citizens observatories and Citizen Science
  • Land development policy
  • Land use and land cover change, urbanization
  • Computer-human-environment interactions
  • Public and environmental health
  • Crowdsourcing and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)
  • Socioeconomic development
  • Climate change and Regional planning

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Special Issue Editorial: Earth Observation and Geoinformation Technologies for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 760; doi:10.3390/su9050760
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 14 April 2017 / Accepted: 25 April 2017 / Published: 5 May 2017
PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Impacts on the Social Cohesion of Mainland Spain’s Future Motorway and High-Speed Rail Networks
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 624; doi:10.3390/su8070624
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A great expansion of the road and rail network is contemplated in the Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan (PITVI in Spanish), in order to achieve greater social cohesion in 2024 in Spain. For this reason, the aim of this study is to classify
[...] Read more.
A great expansion of the road and rail network is contemplated in the Infrastructure, Transport and Housing Plan (PITVI in Spanish), in order to achieve greater social cohesion in 2024 in Spain. For this reason, the aim of this study is to classify and to identify those municipalities that are going to improve or worsen their social cohesion. To achieve this goal, the municipalities were classified according to the degree of socioeconomic development, and their accessibility levels were determined before and after the construction of these infrastructures. Firstly, the socioeconomic classification demonstrates that there is predominance in the northern half of the peninsula in the most developed municipalities. Secondly, the accessibility levels show that the same center-peripheral models are going to be kept in the future. Finally, poorly-defined territorial patterns are obtained with respect to the positive or negative effects of new infrastructures on social cohesion. Therefore, it is possible to state that the construction plan is going to partially fulfill its aim, since a quarter of the population is going to be affected by a negative impact on socioeconomic development. As a consequence, people who live here are going to have major problems in achieving social cohesion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Using Modified Remote Sensing Imagery to Interpret Changes in Cultivated Land under Saline-Alkali Conditions
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 619; doi:10.3390/su8070619
Received: 8 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 1 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Managing the rapidly changing saline-alkali land under cultivation in the coastal areas of China is important not only for mitigating the negative impacts of such land on the environment, but also for ensuring long-term sustainability of agriculture. In this light, setting up rapid
[...] Read more.
Managing the rapidly changing saline-alkali land under cultivation in the coastal areas of China is important not only for mitigating the negative impacts of such land on the environment, but also for ensuring long-term sustainability of agriculture. In this light, setting up rapid monitoring systems to assist decision-making in developing sustainable management plans is therefore an absolute necessity. In this study, we developed a new interpretation system where symbols are used to grade and classify saline-alkali lands in space and time, based on the characteristics of plant cover and features of remote sensing images. The system was used in combination with the maximum likelihood supervised classification to analyze the changes in cultivated lands under saline-alkali conditions in Huanghua City. The analysis revealed changes in the area and spatial distribution of cultivated under saline-alkali conditions in the region. The total area of saline-alkali land was 139,588.8 ha in 1992 and 134,477.5 ha in 2011. Compared with 1992, severely and moderately saline-alkali land areas decreased in 2011. However, non/slightly saline land areas increased over that in 1992. The results showed that the salinization rate of arable lands in Huanghua City decreased from 1992 to 2011. The moderately saline-alkali land southeast of the city transformed into non/slightly saline-alkaline. Then, severely saline-alkali land far from the coastal zone west of the city became moderately saline-alkaline. Spatial changes in cultivated saline-alkali lands in Huanghua City were such that the centers of gravity (CG) of severely and non/slightly saline-alkali land moved closer the coastline, while that of the moderately saline-alkali land moved from southwest coastal line to northwest. Factors influencing changes in cultivated lands in the saline-alkali ecosystem included climate, hydrology and human activity. Thus, studies are required to further explore these factors in order to build a better understanding into the relative contributions of the changes saline-alkali state on the functions of coastline ecosystems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands
Sustainability 2016, 8(6), 581; doi:10.3390/su8060581
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 11 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (887 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively
[...] Read more.
To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12) in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm) was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4), double (S7), and triple (S12) compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63), but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7) than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12). The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Remote Monitoring of Earth’s Atmosphere Based on Operative Processing GNSS Data in the UA-EUPOS/ZAKPOS Network of Active Reference Stations
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 391; doi:10.3390/su8040391
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 2 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The system of remote monitoring of atmosphere is designed to obtain information about the state of atmosphere. The principle of the remote monitoring of atmosphere is based on registering and processing GLONASS/GPS radio signals. Modern networks of active reference stations allow us to
[...] Read more.
The system of remote monitoring of atmosphere is designed to obtain information about the state of atmosphere. The principle of the remote monitoring of atmosphere is based on registering and processing GLONASS/GPS radio signals. Modern networks of active reference stations allow us to solve both practical problems of geodesy, navigation, and purely scientific problems that are important in all geosciences. The paper investigates a spatiotemporal instability in the atmosphere, based on 845 temporal measurements of tropospheric delay over the territory covered by 20 active reference stations of the UA-EUPOS/ZAKPOS network. The method elaborated by the authors for the determination of tropospheric delay in the UA-EUPOS/ZAKPOS network in real time takes relief of the region into account. The results are very good, since mapping tropospheric delay can be made with an average RMSE of 1.5 mm. The method developed in this research can be used to improve the quality of weather forecasts and the prevention of natural disasters. Full article
Open AccessArticle Using GIS towards the Characterization and Soil Mapping of the Caia Irrigation Perimeter
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 368; doi:10.3390/su8040368
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3329 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Caia Irrigation Perimeter is an irrigation infrastructure implemented in 1968. As is often the case, the original soil map of this region (dated from 1961) does not have the detail needed to characterize a relatively small-sized zone, where intensive agricultural practices take
[...] Read more.
The Caia Irrigation Perimeter is an irrigation infrastructure implemented in 1968. As is often the case, the original soil map of this region (dated from 1961) does not have the detail needed to characterize a relatively small-sized zone, where intensive agricultural practices take place. Using FAO methodology and with the main goal of establishing a larger-scale soil map, adequate for the demands of a modern and intensive agriculture, we gathered the geological characterization of the study area and information about the topography, climate, and vegetation of the region. Using ArcGIS software, we overlapped this information and established a pre-map of soil resources. Based on this pre-map, we defined a set of detailed itineraries in the field, evenly distributed, in which soil samples were collected. In those distinct soil units, we opened several soil profiles, from which we selected 26 to analyze in the present study, since they characterized the existing diversity in terms of soil type and soil properties. Based on the work of verification, correction, and reinterpretation of the preliminary soil map, we reached a final soil map for the Caia Irrigation Perimeter, which is characterized by enormous heterogeneity, typical of Mediterranean soils, containing 23 distinct cartographic units, the most representative being the Distric Fluvisols with inclusions of Luvisols Distric occupying 29.9% of the total study area, and Calcisols Luvic with inclusions of Luvisols endoleptic with 11.9% of the total area. Considering the obtained information on soil properties; ArcGIS was used to develop a map in which it was possible to ascertain the impact of the continuous practice of irrigation in this area. This allows us to put forward relevant conclusions on the need to access and monitor specific Mediterranean soils in order to mitigate the environmental impact of irrigation practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Integrated Use of GCM, RS, and GIS for the Assessment of Hillslope and Gully Erosion in the Mushi River Sub-Catchment, Northeast China
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 317; doi:10.3390/su8040317
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (13759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The black soil region of Northeast China has suffered from severe soil erosion by water. Hillslope and gully erosion are the main erosion types. The objective of this research was to integrate the assessment of hillslope and gully erosion and explore spatial coupling
[...] Read more.
The black soil region of Northeast China has suffered from severe soil erosion by water. Hillslope and gully erosion are the main erosion types. The objective of this research was to integrate the assessment of hillslope and gully erosion and explore spatial coupling relations between them in the Mushi River sub-catchment using geographical conditions monitoring (GCM) including remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques. The revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) model and visual satellite image interpretation were used to evaluate hillslope and gully erosion, respectively. The results showed that (1) the study area as a whole had slight erosion due to rill and sheet erosion, but suffered more serious gully erosion, which mainly occurs in cultivated land; (2) GCM contributed to the overall improvement of soil erosion assessment, but the RUSLE model likely overestimates the erosion rate in dry land; (3) the hillslope and gully erosion were stronger on sunny slopes than on shady slopes, and mainly occurred at middle elevations. When the slope was greater than 15 degrees, the slope was not the main factor restricting the erosion, while at steeper slopes, the dominant forest land significantly reduced the soil loss; (4) trends of gully erosion intensity and density were not consistent with the change in soil erosion intensity. To our knowledge, this study was one of the first that attempted to integrate gully erosion and hillslope erosion on a watershed scale. The findings of this study promote a better understanding of the spatial coupling relationships between hillslope and gully erosion and similarly indicate that GCM, RS, and GIS can be used efficiently in the hilly black soil region of Northeast China to assess hillslope and gully erosion. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Variations of Rain-Use Efficiency in the West of Songliao Plain, China
Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 308; doi:10.3390/su8040308
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 26 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (10012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Spatio-temporal patterns of rain-use efficiency (RUE) can explicitly present the steady-state of ecosystem water use and thus ecosystem functioning. The west of Songliao Plain, located along the east fringe of the agro-pasture transitional zone in northern China, is highly sensitive to global change.
[...] Read more.
Spatio-temporal patterns of rain-use efficiency (RUE) can explicitly present the steady-state of ecosystem water use and thus ecosystem functioning. The west of Songliao Plain, located along the east fringe of the agro-pasture transitional zone in northern China, is highly sensitive to global change. In this study, satellite-based RUE was calculated using time series SPOT VEGETATION (SPOT-VGT) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images and precipitation data for the study area from 1999 to 2011. Based on regression model by fitting simple linear regression through the pixel-based time series of RUE in the growing season and calculating the slopes, the change trend of RUE was determined. The grey relational analysis (GRA) method was extended to the spatial scale, and used to select sensitive climate and socio-economic factors that affected RUE variations. The result demonstrated that vegetation RUE increased slightly with an undulating trend, implying the ecosystem function tended to improve between 1999 and 2011. In total, 4.23% of the total area had experienced a significant increase in RUE, whereas 1.29% of the total area presented a significant decrease. Areas showing increased RUE trends mostly coincided with areas of land cover conversions from grassland to forest, shrub to forest and cropland to forest, which suggested a positive linkage with ecological protection policy and projects at national and local levels. Based on the obtained spatial Grey Relation Grade (GRG) values, the pattern of the impact factors clearly showed a spatial heterogeneity. Spatially, sunshine duration, temperature and population density were most closely related to RUE in the west of Songliao Plain between 1999 and 2011. Full article
Open AccessArticle Revealing Social Values by 3D City Visualization in City Transformations
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 195; doi:10.3390/su8020195
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 22 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Social sustainability is a widely used concept in urban planning research and practice. However, knowledge of spatial distributions of social values and aspects of social sustainability is required. Visualization of these distributions is also highly valuable, but challenging, and rarely attempted in sparsely
[...] Read more.
Social sustainability is a widely used concept in urban planning research and practice. However, knowledge of spatial distributions of social values and aspects of social sustainability is required. Visualization of these distributions is also highly valuable, but challenging, and rarely attempted in sparsely populated urban environments in rural areas. This article presents a method that highlights social values in spatial models through 3D visualization, describes the methodology to generate the models, and discusses potential applications. The models were created using survey, building, infrastructure and demographic data for Gällivare, Sweden, a small city facing major transformation due to mining subsidence. It provides an example of how 3D models of important social sustainability indices can be designed to display citizens’ attitudes regarding their financial status, the built environment, social inclusion and welfare services. The models helped identify spatial variations in perceptions of the built environment that correlate (inter alia) with closeness to certain locations, gender and distances to public buildings. Potential uses of the model for supporting efforts by practitioners, researchers and citizens to visualize and understand social values in similar urban environments are discussed, together with ethical issues (particularly regarding degrees of anonymity) concerning its wider use for inclusive planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Landslide Susceptibility Mapping Based on Selected Optimal Combination of Landslide Predisposing Factors in a Large Catchment
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16653-16669; doi:10.3390/su71215839
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 10 December 2015 / Accepted: 11 December 2015 / Published: 17 December 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Landslides are usually initiated under complex geological conditions. It is of great significance to find out the optimal combination of predisposing factors and create an accurate landslide susceptibility map based on them. In this paper, the Information Value Model was modified to make
[...] Read more.
Landslides are usually initiated under complex geological conditions. It is of great significance to find out the optimal combination of predisposing factors and create an accurate landslide susceptibility map based on them. In this paper, the Information Value Model was modified to make the Modified Information Value (MIV) Model, and together with GIS (Geographical Information System) and AUC (Area Under Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve) test, 32 factor combinations were evaluated separately, and factor combination group with members Slope, Lithology, Drainage network, Annual precipitation, Faults, Road and Vegetation was selected as the optimal combination group with an accuracy of 95.0%. Based on this group, a landslide susceptibility zonation map was drawn, where the study area was reclassified into five classes, presenting an accurate description of different levels of landslide susceptibility, with 79.41% and 13.67% of the validating field survey landslides falling in the Very High and High zones, respectively, mainly distributed in the south and southeast of the catchment. It showed that MIV model can tackle the problem of “no data in subclass” well, generate the true information value and show real running trend, which performs well in showing the relationship between predisposing factors and landslide occurrence and can be used for preliminary landslide susceptibility assessment in the study area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparing Potential Unstable Sites and Stable Sites on Revegetated Cut-Slopes of Mountainous Terrain in Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15319-15341; doi:10.3390/su71115319
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 5 October 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study employs a diverse set of variables to explain slope stabilization on stable versus failure-prone revegetated cut-slopes in Korea. A field survey was conducted at potential unstable sites and stable sites using 23 variables. Through a non-parametric test of the field survey
[...] Read more.
This study employs a diverse set of variables to explain slope stabilization on stable versus failure-prone revegetated cut-slopes in Korea. A field survey was conducted at potential unstable sites and stable sites using 23 variables. Through a non-parametric test of the field survey results, 15 variables were identified as primary determinants of slope failure. Of these variables, one described physical characteristics (elapsed year); four variables described vegetation properties (plant community, vegetation coverage rate, number of trees, and number of herbs); and 10 variables represented soil properties (porosity, soil hardness, water content, sand ratio and silt ratio of soil texture, tensile strength, permeability coefficient, soil depth, soil acidity, salt concentration, and organic matter). Slope angle, which was mainly considered in previous studies, of variables in physical characteristics was not statistically selected as one of the 15 variables because most of sites were located on steep slopes. The vegetation community, vegetation coverage, and number of trees influence slope stabilization. Vegetation coverage is highly correlated with other soil and vegetation variables, making it a major indicator of slope stabilization. All soil variables were related to slope failure such that subsequent slope failure was related to the method of slope revegetation rather than the environmental condition of the slope. Slope failure did not occur in revegetated slopes that matched the characteristics of the surrounding landscape and contained a large number of native trees. Most soil and vegetation variables showed differing values for whether a revegetated slope is potentially unstable or stable. Full article
Open AccessArticle Monitoring Cropland Dynamics of the Yellow River Delta based on Multi-Temporal Landsat Imagery over 1986 to 2015
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14834-14858; doi:10.3390/su71114834
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 6 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (11206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural deltas can provide human beings with flat and fertile land to be cultivated. It is important to monitor cropland dynamics to provide policy-relevant information for regional sustainable development. This paper utilized Landsat imagery to study the cropland dynamics of the Yellow River
[...] Read more.
Natural deltas can provide human beings with flat and fertile land to be cultivated. It is important to monitor cropland dynamics to provide policy-relevant information for regional sustainable development. This paper utilized Landsat imagery to study the cropland dynamics of the Yellow River Delta during the last three decades. Multi-temporal Landsat data were used to account for the phenological variations of different plants. Several spectral and textural features were adopted to increase the between-class separability. The robust random forest classifier was used to generate the land cover maps of the Yellow River Delta for 1986, 1995, 2005 and 2015. Experimental results indicated that the proposed methodology showed good performance with an average classification accuracy of 89.44%. The spatial-temporal analysis indicated that the cropland area increased from 467.6 km2 in 1986 to 718.5 km2 in 2015 with an average growth rate of 8.65 km2/year. The newly created croplands were mainly due to the reclamation of grassland and bare soil while the losses of croplands were due to abandoned cultivation and urban sprawl. The results demonstrate that a sustainable perspective should be adopted by the decision makers in order to simultaneously maintain food security, industrial development and ecosystem safety. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Land Use and Slope Gradient on Soil Erosion in a Red Soil Hilly Watershed of Southern China
Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 14309-14325; doi:10.3390/su71014309
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 15 October 2015 / Accepted: 16 October 2015 / Published: 22 October 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A study was undertaken to develop an appropriate plan of land use under suitable slope gradient to control soil erosion from a red soil hilly watershed of southern China by using the GeoWEPP (Geo-spatial Interface for the Water Erosion Prediction Project) model. The
[...] Read more.
A study was undertaken to develop an appropriate plan of land use under suitable slope gradient to control soil erosion from a red soil hilly watershed of southern China by using the GeoWEPP (Geo-spatial Interface for the Water Erosion Prediction Project) model. The model was calibrated and validated using monitoring data of the outlet from 2010 to 2012, in which the 2010 and 2012 annual total runoff and sediment yield data were used for calibration, and the 2011 monthly runoff and sediment yield data for validation. The performance of the model in validation period were good with a high coefficient of determination values of 0.98 and 0.93 and Nash-Sutcliffe simulations of 0.96 and 0.91 while low root mean square error values of 6.91 mm and 0.35 t respectively for runoff and sediment yield. Subsequently, the model was used to simulate four typical land use (forest, farm, orchard, and fallow land) in the study area to evaluate their impacts on soil erosion production. The results showed that the runoff decreased by 44.7% and 61.1% for forest and orchard land compared to the current land use, as well as the sediment yield decreased by 43.7% and 68.6%. While the runoff and sediment yield increased by 52.2% and 42.6% for farm land, and 48.8% and 29.6% for fallow land. As the same time, soil erosion increased with increasing of the slope gradient of the quadratic regression equation for all land use. The critical slope gradient of 15° for returning the farmland to forest or others is suitable in the red soil region but is not accurate. The result of the study provides good scientific evidence for developing an appropriate plan of land use in the watershed and other similar areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle Multi-Scale Measurement of Regional Inequality in Mainland China during 2005–2010 Using DMSP/OLS Night Light Imagery and Population Density Grid Data
Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 13469-13499; doi:10.3390/su71013469
Received: 1 August 2015 / Revised: 16 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 30 September 2015
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (3278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study used the Night Light Development Index (NLDI) to measure the regional inequality of public services in Mainland China at multiple scales. The NLDI was extracted based on a Gini Coefficient approach to measure the spatial differences of population distribution and night
[...] Read more.
This study used the Night Light Development Index (NLDI) to measure the regional inequality of public services in Mainland China at multiple scales. The NLDI was extracted based on a Gini Coefficient approach to measure the spatial differences of population distribution and night light distribution. Population data were derived from the dataset of China’s population density grid, and night light data were acquired from satellite imagery. In the multi-scale analysis, we calculated the NLDI for China as a whole, eight economic regions, 31 provincial regions, and 354 prefectural cities for the two years of 2005 and 2010. The results indicate that Southwest China and Northwest China are the regions with the most unequal public services, with NLDI values of 0.7116 and 0.7251 for 2005, respectively, and 0.6678 and 0.6304 for 2010, respectively. In contrast, Northern Coastal China had the lowest NLDI values of 0.4775 and 0.4312 for 2005 and 2010, respectively, indicating that this region had the most equal public services. Also, the regional inequality of Mainland China in terms of NLDI has been reduced from 0.6161 to 0.5743 during 2005–2010. The same pattern was observed from the provincial and prefectural analysis, suggesting that public services in Mainland China became more equal within the five-year period. A regression analysis indicated that provincial and prefectural regions with more public services per capita and higher population density had more equal public services. Full article
Open AccessArticle Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index Estimation of Soil Moisture under Different Tree Species
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11401-11417; doi:10.3390/su70911401
Received: 1 July 2015 / Revised: 11 August 2015 / Accepted: 12 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1743 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Laoshan forest is the largest forest in Nanjing, and it plays an important role in water resource management in Nanjing. The objectives of this study are to determine if the temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI) is suitable to estimate the soil moisture
[...] Read more.
The Laoshan forest is the largest forest in Nanjing, and it plays an important role in water resource management in Nanjing. The objectives of this study are to determine if the temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI) is suitable to estimate the soil moisture and if soil moisture is significantly affected by tree species in the Laoshan forest. This paper calculated the spatial distribution of TVDI using LANDSAT-5 TM data. Sixty-two observation points of in situ soil moisture measurements were selected to validate the effectiveness of the TVDI as an index for assessing soil moisture in the Laoshan forest. With the aid of the three different temporal patterns, which are 10 January 2011, 18 May 2011 and 23 September 2011, this paper used the TVDI to investigate the differences of soil moisture under four kinds of mono-species forests and two kinds of mixed forests. The results showed that there is a strong and significant negative correlation between the TVDI and the in situ measured soil moisture (R2 = 0.15–0.8, SE = 0.015–0.041 cm3/cm3). This means that the TVDI can reflect the soil moisture status under different tree species in the Laoshan forest. The soil moisture under these six types of land cover from low to high is listed in the following order: Eucommia ulmoides, Quercus acutissima, broadleaf mixed forest, Cunninghamia lanceolata, coniferous and broadleaf mixed forest and Pinus massoniana. Full article

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