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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Jul 1;485-486:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.031. Epub 2014 Mar 31.

Satellite data regarding the eutrophication response to human activities in the plateau lake Dianchi in China from 1974 to 2009.

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Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Nanjing Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210046, China.
School of Biochemical and Environmental Engineering, Nanjing Xiao Zhuang University, Nanjing 210046, China.
Key Laboratory of Virtual Geographic Environment (Nanjing Normal University), Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210046, China. Electronic address:


Human activities contribute highly to water eutrophication. In this study, the relationship between human activities and water eutrophication in Dianchi Lake in China was characterized using a combination of satellite imaging, sedimentary physicochemical and meteorological data analyses. The heavy eutrophic status and algal bloom in Dianchi Lake were first observed by satellite in 1977 and 1989, respectively. The C/N ratio, an indicator of organic sources in sediments, also showed that the planktonic organic source in the sediment significantly increased beginning in 1989. The land use cover in the Dianchi basin showed that both farm lands and forests, but particularly farmlands, were reduced during the period from 1974 to 2009. The urbanized land area increased from 1974 to 2009, particularly after 2000. The effects of human activities on water eutrophication were expressed by land use cover, population, gross domestic product (GDP; separated into primary, secondary and tertiary industries) and wastewater discharge. For land use cover, farm and urbanized lands were the main sources of water nutrients; forest contributed slightly to these nutrients. For GDP, primary (correlation coefficient=0.94, P<0.001) and tertiary (correlation coefficient=0.95, P<0.001) industries were highly correlated with total nitrogen. Secondary (correlation coefficient=0.95, P<0.001) and tertiary (correlation coefficient=0.96, P<0.001) industries were highly correlated with total phosphorus. The algal bloom area was significantly correlated with wastewater discharge (correlation coefficient=0.78, P<0.005) (except industrial wastewater), which was primarily led by the non-agricultural population, from 2000 to 2009. This study suggests that the protection of water environments requires a comprehensive protection policy in addition to a unilateral protection policy.


Dianchi Lake; Eutrophication; Human activity; Landsat image; MODIS image

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