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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1174;

Land Degradation Monitoring in the Ordos Plateau of China Using an Expert Knowledge and BP-ANN-Based Approach

School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application and School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240, USA
China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100048, China
Bureau of Land and Resources, Feicheng 271600, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2016 / Accepted: 8 November 2016 / Published: 13 November 2016
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Land degradation monitoring is of vital importance to provide scientific information for promoting sustainable land utilization. This paper presents an expert knowledge and BP-ANN-based approach to detect and monitor land degradation in an effort to overcome the deficiencies of image classification and vegetation index-based approaches. The proposed approach consists of three generic steps: (1) extraction of knowledge on the relationship between land degradation degree and predisposing factors, which are NDVI and albedo, from domain experts; (2) establishment of a land degradation detecting model based on the BP-ANN algorithm; and (3) land degradation dynamic analysis. A comprehensive analysis was conducted on the development of land degradation in the Ordos Plateau of China in 1990, 2000 and 2010. The results indicate that the proposed approach is reliable for monitoring land degradation, with an overall accuracy of 91.2%. From 1990–2010, a reverse trend of land degradation is observed in Ordos Plateau. Regions with relatively high land degradation dynamic were mostly located in the northeast of Ordos Plateau. Additionally, most of the regions have transferred from a hot spot of land degradation to a less changed area. It is suggested that land utilization optimization plays a key role for effective land degradation control. However, it should be highlighted that the goals of such strategies should aim at the main negative factors causing land degradation, and the land use type and its quantity must meet the demand of population and be reconciled with natural conditions. Results from this case study suggest that the expert knowledge and BP-ANN-based approach is effective in mapping land degradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: land degradation; TM image; visual interpretation; NDVI; albedo; BP-ANN; Ordos Plateau land degradation; TM image; visual interpretation; NDVI; albedo; BP-ANN; Ordos Plateau

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Yue, Y.; Li, M.; Zhu, A.-X.; Ye, X.; Mao, R.; Wan, J.; Dong, J. Land Degradation Monitoring in the Ordos Plateau of China Using an Expert Knowledge and BP-ANN-Based Approach. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1174.

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