Land-use and cover change is an important indicator for exploring global change trends, with in-depth research on land use and its driving factors being of particular significance in forging ecologically sustainable development. The present work used the Tarim River Basin as the study area, while the land-use transfer matrix, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), regional center-of-gravity model, and night-time-light remote-sensing mutual correction method were employed to explore temporal and spatial characteristics of land-use change and its driving factors. The results show the following. (1) From 1990 to 2018, land-use types in the study area significantly changed, with the cultivated land increasing by 73.9% and grassland area decreasing at a rate of 6.38 × 104
per year. (2) Areas with a natural vegetation NDVI above 0.2 appeared to follow a growth trend, with an area growth of 259.12 × 104
at a rate of 14.39 × 104
/a. Average annual temperature and precipitation showed a fluctuating upward trend. (3) The center of gravity of land-use type area moved significantly. The center of gravity of cultivated land was moving in the same direction as the GDP and population center of gravity, migrating to the northeast. The migration distance of the center of gravity of cultivated land area was 212.59 km, the center of gravity migration rate of GDP was 14.44 km/a, and the population center of gravity was 812.21 km. (4) During the study period, the brightness of night lights in the study area was distributed in a circular shape, with more in the northwest and less in the southeast. Brightness gradually increased and showed an expansion trend, increasing from 0.3% to 6.3%. Among the influencing factors of spatial change of land-use change, natural factors such as climate change were related to the process of land-use/-cover change in the Tarim River Basin. Overall, human activities had the most obvious impact on land-use change.
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