chinese loess plateau
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2022 ◽  
Vol 175 ◽  
pp. 106503
Zhao Jin ◽  
Da Luo ◽  
Yunlong Yu ◽  
Siqi Yang ◽  
Jing Zhang ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
pp. 250-266
Jianqi Zhuang ◽  
Penghui Ma ◽  
Jiewei Zhan ◽  
Yi Zhu ◽  
Jiaxu Kong ◽  

Mingshuang Shen ◽  
Yang Yu ◽  
Shouhong Zhang ◽  
Ruoxiu Sun ◽  
Zhengle Shi ◽  

Characterizing soil water content (SWC) dynamics is a prerequisite for conducting sustainable vegetation restoration on the Chinese Loess Plateau. However, quantifying the variations of the SWC in the deep soil layers remains a challenge because of the different driving factors and the complexity of surface processes. In this study, SWC in 0–10 m of artificial forestlands (AF), apple orchard (AO), native forestland (NF), farmland (maize; FL), and native grassland (NG) were monitored during 2019–2020. The deficit size (DS) and recovery index (RI) were used to explore the effects of vegetation types on SWC. The results showed that the SWCs of forestlands were significantly lower than the SWC of native grassland (12.32%) and tree species significantly affected the SWC. The monthly DS values in forestlands were negative, while those of FL were positive. The DS value in 0-10 m and predictive values below 10 m were negative of forestlands. Thus, tree planting may have consumed soil water at a depth of > 10 m. During the investigation period, soil water was restored in 0–1 m with the positive RI values. In addition, artificial forestlands showed good performance in deep soil water recovery. Canopy density was the controlling factor for soil water restoration. Our results demonstrated that the current afforestation mode used more soil water but was conducive to deep soil water conservation. Therefore, reasonable adjustments should be made according to the local soil and water resources for future vegetation selection and management.

2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (24) ◽  
pp. 5053
Jiaxi Wang ◽  
Yan Zhang ◽  
Jiayong Deng ◽  
Shuangwu Yu ◽  
Yiyang Zhao

The gully erosion process is influenced by both natural conditions and human activities on the tableland region, the Chinese Loess Plateau, which is a densely populated agricultural area with unique topography. For the purpose of assessing long-term gully growth rates, the influencing factors and potential of gully growth, KH-4B satellite images, Quickbird-2 images, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images were used to assess gully erosion from 1969 to 2019. The effects of runoff, topography and human activities were analyzed with information derived from historical and present images. Ninety-five investigated gullies were classified into four types: 45 growing, 25 stable, 21 infilled and four excavated gullies. The rates (RA) of 45 growing gullies ranged from 0.50 to 20.94 m2·yr−1, with an average of 5.66 m2·yr−1 from 1969 to 2010. The present drainage area, local slope, average drainage slope, annual runoff, and ratio of the terraced area were all significantly different between the stable and growing gullies. The long-term gully growth rate could be estimated using a nonlinear regression model with annual runoff (Qa) and the slope of the drainage area (Sd) as predictors (RA = 0.301Qa0.562Sd, R2 = 0.530). Based on the Sg-A and Sg-Qa relationship that was used to reveal the threshold conditions for gully growth, all growing gullies still have the potential to keep growing, but soil and water conservation measures, including terraces, could change the threshold condition by reducing the effective drainage area. The results of this study could be helpful for preventing further gully erosion by dealing with gullies far above the threshold line.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Haopeng Geng ◽  
Ru Liu ◽  
Weishan Zheng ◽  
Yunbo Zhang ◽  
Rong Xie ◽  

Although the interactions between biotic and geomorphic processes usually occur on small spatial and short temporal scales, many of the mechanisms remain to be investigated. This study provides the first direct evidence of the interaction between biotic burrowing and loess cave formation in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). The study area is the Qingshui Valley in the western CLP, near Lanzhou. We surveyed the target site (with an area of ∼13,367 m2) four times from Jul 2019 to Dec 2020, using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). High resolution UAV images enabled us to determine the temporal and spatial dynamics of biotic burrowing and loess caves. The results show that loess caves tended to develop down valley below collapses, while animal burrows were preferentially located upslope away from collapses. Despite the distinct “topographic niches” for both biotic and abiotic processes, we observed an interaction between the two processes in space when tracking their temporal dynamics. Three out of seven new loess caves were in the process of formation at typical “topographic niches” of animal burrows and there was a significantly high animal burrow density around these three caves before their initiation. These results indicate that the three caves were directly initiated from animal burrows and/or developed under the influence of biotic activities. Therefore, biotic burrowing promotes the spatial heterogeneity of loess cave distribution. We also found significant decreases in animal burrow density surrounding the newly-formed loess caves after their initiation. This may reflect a risk avoidance strategy of animal burrowing, which causes animals to avoid areas of recent mass movement (i.e., collapses and new caves). The formation and expansion of loess caves can dictate the distribution of active areas of biotic disturbance. Our results demonstrate a clear interaction between biotic burrowing and loess cave formation, and they emphasize the role of biological agents as a mechanism for the formation of loess caves, which enrich the understanding of searching fingerprints of life during landscape evolution.

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