MONITORING THE CHANGES OF LAKES IN THE SOURCE REGION OF THREE RIVERS WITH REMOTE SENSING DATA FROM 1976 TO 2009
Keywords: Source Region of Three Rivers (SRTR); lakes' change; index of lake change trend (ILCT); remote sensing monitoring
Abstract. As the birthplace of Yangtze River, the Yellow River and Lancang Rive, Source Region of Three Rivers (SRTR) is an important resource for fresh water supplement in China. SRTR also has very obvious ecological function which forms ecological security barrier for China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau. The inland lakes here play an important role for the water cycle in the plateau. The monitoring results were extracted with TM data from 1976 to 2009. The results show that from 1976 to 2009 the lakes' area in SRTR dropped first and then expanded with 2000 as sector. The lakes area was 6778 km2 in 2009, about 1.90% of the whole region, and increased than 1976 by 133.15 km2. Most of the large lakes above 80 km2 have the same change trend. The expanded lakes increased in number gradually, while the changes in the amplitude and time characteristics were different. From 1976 to 2000, the number of new lakes increased while died lakes dropped; and from 2000 to 2009 it is just on the contrary. In the study the index of lake change trend (ILCT) was adopted to contrast lake atrophy condition. With ILCT 24.55 there is an expansion trend for the lakes in SRTR during the last 35 years. The lakes with ILCT's absolute value greater than 1 were those merged with or disconnected from surrounding smaller lakes. Here the precipitation and snow melt are main supplies for the lakes. The change of lakes' area has well correlated with precipitation, and weak correlated with temperature from 1976 to 2009. But from 2000 to 2009, there has a strong correlation with precipitation, temperature. All these show from the side that the precipitation and snow melt are important factors to influence the lakes’ change. The lakes have the coordination function for the good ecological environment in the region. The conclusions from the study can provide references in response to climate change research and rational utilization of water resources in SRTR.