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Monitoring Wetland Changes on the Source of the Three Rivers From 1990 to 2009, Qinghai, China

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5 Author(s)
Ren-Min Yang ; Dept. of Geogr. Inf. Sci., Hohai Univ., Nanjing, China ; Ru An ; Hui-Lin Wang ; Zhi-Xia Chen
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The source of The Three Rivers is located in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, has the richest wetland resources in China. Large areas of the wetlands in this region have diminished because of various factors. Based on a total of 72 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat Enhanced TM Plus (ETM) images covering three periods of 1988-1991, 2003-2005 and 2008-2009, wetland changes were monitored and analyzed. In this paper, wetland information was extracted from the images acquired using object-oriented classification; and visual interpretation with the aid of geological maps, geomorphologic maps, topographic maps, land use maps, and lake-river thematic data. Results indicated that the wetland resource of the Source of The Three Rivers has declined by 14.13%, from 31,773.96 km2 in 1990 to 27,284.7 km2 in 2009. The overall accuracy for wetland in three years were 88.66%, 92.16%, and 91.53%. Each wetland type has changed considerably in the past twenty years. Further investigation showed that the annual loss of wetlands has decreased over two periods from 252.39 km2 yr-1 (1990-2004) to 140.7 km2 yr-1 (2004-2009). Furthermore, there is an indication that the wetland ecosystem in the source area of The Three Rivers is gradually recovering.

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Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )