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Role of Vegetation and Landcover Dynamics on the Recycling of Water in Two Endorheic Watersheds of NW China (Gansu Province) : Volume 12, Issue 1 (26/01/2015)

By Matin, M. A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012250
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 36
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Role of Vegetation and Landcover Dynamics on the Recycling of Water in Two Endorheic Watersheds of NW China (Gansu Province) : Volume 12, Issue 1 (26/01/2015)  
Author: Matin, M. A.
Volume: Vol. 12, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Matin, M. A., & Bourque, C. P. (2015). Role of Vegetation and Landcover Dynamics on the Recycling of Water in Two Endorheic Watersheds of NW China (Gansu Province) : Volume 12, Issue 1 (26/01/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, University of New Brunswick, 28 Dineen Drive, P.O. Box 4400, Fredericton, New Brunswick, E3B 5A3, Canada. In this study, we analysed the role of vegetation in the recycling of water in two endorheic watersheds in northwest China, namely within the Shiyang and Hei River watersheds (Gansu Province), along a gradient of elevation zones and within-zone landcover types. Each watershed was subdivided into four elevation zones representative of (i) oasis plains and foothills, and (ii) low-, (iii) mid-, and (iv) high-mountain elevations. By means of monthly summaries of enhanced vegetation index (EVI), DEM-height values, terrain orientation, and a decision-tree classifier, landcover in the study area (consisting of oases, deserts, and adjoining Qilian Mountains) was classified into 11 unique landcover types. Comparison of monthly vegetation phenology with precipitation and snowmelt dynamics within the same watersheds over a ten-year period (2000–2009) suggested that the onset of the precipitation season in the mountains (in May) was triggered by the greening of vegetation and increased production of water vapour at the base of the mountains. Seasonal evolution of in-mountain precipitation correlated fairy well with the temporal variation in oasis-vegetation coverage and phenology (of crops and grasses) characterised by monthly EVI, giving r2 values of 0.65 and 0.85 for the Shiyang and Hei River watersheds, respectively. Generally, comparisons between same-zone monthly precipitation volumes and EVI provided weaker correlations. Start of the growing season in the oases was shown to coincide with the discharge of meltwater from the low- to mid-elevations of the Qilian Mountains in mid-to-late March. Comparison of water volumes associated with in-mountain production of rainfall and snowmelt with that associated with actual evapotranspiration revealed that about 90% of the water flowing downslope to the oases was eventually returned to the Qilian Mountains as water vapour generated in the lowlands.

Role of vegetation and landcover dynamics on the recycling of water in two endorheic watersheds of NW China (Gansu Province)

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