Hydrologic Responses to Land Use Change in the Loess Plateau: Case Study in the Upper Fenhe River Watershed
Advances in Meteorology
We applied an integrated approach to investigate the impacts of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on hydrology at different scales in the Loess Plateau of China. Hydrological modeling was conducted for the LULC maps from remote sensing images at two times in the Upper Fenhe River watershed using the SWAT model. The main LULC changes in this watershed from 1995 to 2010 were the transformation of farmland into forests, grassland, and built-up land. The simulation results showed that forested
... howed that forested land contributed more than any other LULC class to water yield, but built-up land had most impact due to small initial loss and infiltration. At basin scale, a comparison of the simulated hydrological components of two LULC maps showed that there were slight increases in average annual potential evapotranspiration, actual evapotranspiration, and water yield, but soil water decreased, between the two intervals. In subbasins, obvious LULC changes did not have clear impacts on hydrology, and the impacts may be affected by precipitation conditions. By linking a hydrological model to remote sensing image analysis, our approach of quantifying the impacts of LULC changes on hydrology at different scales provide quantitative information for stakeholders in making decisions for land and water resource management.