Moisture variation inferred from a nebkha profile correlates with vegetation changes in the southwestern Mu Us Desert of China over one century

Jinchang Li, Yanfang Zhao, Liuyan Han, Guoming Zhang, Rentao Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We inferred moisture variations from the early 1930s to the early 2010s in the southwestern Mu Us Desert of China using Rb/Sr ratio, chemical index of alteration (CIA), and organic matter (OM) content in a nebkha profile. Our results showed that the variations in moisture may have been the main factor that controlled vegetation recovery or degradation, and we believe that gradual vegetation recovery was notable throughout the study area during the past 80 years, despite two notable degradation stages during the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s. The Rb/Sr ratio, CIA, and OM content revealed that moisture levels increased during the study period, though with large interannual variations. During the early stage of nebkha formation, the moisture variations were controlled by unusually low precipitation. Thereafter, the precipitation, pan evaporation and temperature determined together moisture variations, but the key factor determining moisture variations was different during different periods. The moisture variations trend revealed in this study may not be restricted to this region as it was similar with the adjacent Mongolian Plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-804
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume598
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Funding

This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41661054, 41471097, 41401643), Ningxia Natural Science Foundation (NZ15025), Soft Science Project of Shanxi Province (2015041020-1), and Social Sciences Association Project of Shanxi Province (SSKLZDKT2016044).

FundersFunder number
Social Sciences Association Project of Shanxi ProvinceSSKLZDKT2016044
Soft Science Project of Shanxi Province2015041020-1
National Natural Science Foundation of China41471097, 41401643, 41661054
Natural Science Foundation of Ningxia ProvinceNZ15025

    Keywords

    • CIA
    • Moisture variations
    • Mu Us Desert
    • Nebkha
    • Rb/Sr

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Moisture variation inferred from a nebkha profile correlates with vegetation changes in the southwestern Mu Us Desert of China over one century'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this