Remote sensing and hydrological modelling for land and water resources management in the Karst regions of Guizhou province

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Context and objectives

The combination of climatic factors, physical characteristics of the soil and specific land management on the Guizhou karst plateau in Southwest China, results locally in severe soil erosion. Hence, in order to promote industrial and agricultural development, to improve living conditions of the people and to preserve the fragile ecological equilibrium, it is necessary to improve land and water management in the province.
In this context a joint Belgian – Chinese project was established to evaluate the potential of the integration of RS data and GIS with specific hydrological and erosion models.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

GIS database containing different data layers:
- Maps, DEM and its derived products ( RUSLE LS map, slope, surface channel network);
- Link with hydrological time series database (precipitation, temperature, discharge, water level, recording, evaporation);
- Land cover/use map derived from satellite images.
Software modules:
- the software module TCL/TK enables the user to view the constructed hydrological time series and their contents;
- ANSI C programmes were written for different components of the hydrological model.
Erosion risk maps:
- The potential soil loss map shows that the region is highly susceptible to erosion by surface water;
- The actual soil loss per pixel provides an indication of how large the reduction in soil loss is after treatment;
Comparison of the potential and actual soil loss map indicates whether the applied erosion control measures are effective or not. High-risk areas, which need an alternative land use/land management, are delineated based on a value called the 'soil loss tolerance (T)'. The integration of hydrological and soil erosion models within a GIS environment allows policy makers to evaluate different land management scenarios in a strongly automated way.
Project leader(s): UGent - Laboratory of Forest Management and Spatial Information Techniques (FORSIT)
Location: Region:
  • Guizhou province