Evapotranspiration and humidity variations in response to land cover conversions in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region Evapotranspiration and humidity variations in response to land cover conversions in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region

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Vol15 No.3: 590-605

TitleEvapotranspiration and humidity variations in response to land cover conversions in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region

AuthorDENG Hua1; SHAO Jing-an

Addresses1 Chongqing Youth Vocational & Technical College, Chongqing 400712, China; 2 College of Geography and Tourism, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China; 3 Key Laboratory of Surface Process and Environment Remote Sensing, in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, Chongqing 401331, China

Corresponding authorshao_ja2003@sohu.com

CitationDeng H, Shao JA (2018) Evapotranspiration and humidity variations in response to land cover conversions in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region. Journal of Mountain Science 15(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-4272-0

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-016-4272-0

AbstractA new land cover classification system was established for the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) after considering thecontinuity of inundation and the natural characteristics of land cover. The potential evapotranspiration (PET) was predicted using a modifiedPenman-Monteith(P-M) model. The region’s ratio of precipitation to evapotranspiration was calculated as the humidity index (HI). The data obtained was used to analyze climatic responses to land cover conversions from the perspectives of evapotranspiration and humidity variations. The results show that, from 1997 to 2009, the average annual PET increased in the early years and decreased later. In terms of overall spatial distribution, a significant reciprocal relationship appeared between annual PET and annual HI. In 1997, the annual PET was higher in the lower reaches than in the upper reaches of the TGRR, but the areas with high PET shifted substantially westward by 2003. The annual PET continued to increase in 2006, but the areas with high PET shrank by 2009. In contrast, the annual HI showed varying degrees of localized spatial variability. Over the three periods, the dominant forms of land cover conversions occurred from evergreen cover to seasonal green cover, from seasonal green cover to evergreen cover, and from seasonal green cover to seasonally inundated areas, respectively. These accounted for 48.0%, 38.4%, and 23.8% of the total areas of converted land covers in the three periods, respectively. During the period between 1997 and 2003, the main forms of land cover conversions resulted in both positive and negative growths in the average annual PET, while all of them pushed down the average annual HI. From 2003 to 2006, the reservoir region experienced neither a decrease in the annual PET nor an increase in the annual HI. The period between 2006 and 2009 saw a consistent downward trend in the annual PET and a consistent upward trend in the annual HI.

KeywordsLand cover; Evapotranspiration; Humidity variations; Response; Three Gorges Reservoir Region