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Determining the Frequency of Dry Lake Bed Formation in Semi-Arid Mongolia From Satellite Data

Graduate School of Dairy Sciences, Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8501, Japan
Field Researchers Corporation Co. Ltd, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0007, Japan
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
School of Veterinary Medicine, Rakuno Gakuen University, Hokkaido 069-8501, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arid Land Systems: Sciences and Societies)
PDF [8037 KB, uploaded 11 December 2017]


In the Mongolian Plateau, the desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake bed surfaces may affect the process of dust storm emissions. Among these three surface types, dry lake beds are considered to contribute a substantial amount of global dust emissions and to be responsible for “hot spots” of dust outbreaks. The land cover types in the study area were broadly divided into three types, namely desert steppe, mountains, and dry lake beds, by a classification based on Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) calculated from MODIS Terra satellite images, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM). This dry lake beds extracting method using remote sensing offers a new technique for identifying dust hot spots and potential untapped groundwater in the dry lands of the Gobi region. In the study area, frequencies of dry lake bed formation were calculated during the period of 2001 to 2014. The potential dry lake area corresponded well with the length of the river network based on hydrogeological characterization (R2 = 0.77, p < 0.001). We suggest that the threshold between dry lake bed areas and the formation of ephemeral lakes in semi-arid regions is eight days of total precipitation. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry lake beds; dust storm emission; remote sensing; Gobi Desert region dry lake beds; dust storm emission; remote sensing; Gobi Desert region

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Demura, Y.; Hoshino, B.; Baba, K.; McCarthy, C.; Sofue, Y.; Kai, K.; Purevsuren, T.; Hagiwara, K.; Noda, J. Determining the Frequency of Dry Lake Bed Formation in Semi-Arid Mongolia From Satellite Data. Land 2017, 6, 88.

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