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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Apr 15;621:177-185. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.222. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

Identifying change in spatial accumulation of soil salinity in an inland river watershed, China.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, China. Electronic address: wangyg@ms.xjb.ac.cn.
2
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830011, China.

Abstract

Soil salinity accumulation is strong in arid areas and it has become a serious environmental problem. Knowledge of the process and spatial changes of accumulated salinity in soil can provide an insight into the spatial patterns of soil salinity accumulation. This is especially useful for estimating the spatial transport of soil salinity at the watershed scale. This study aimed to identify spatial patterns of salt accumulation in the top 20cm soils in a typical inland watershed, the Sangong River watershed in arid northwest China, using geostatistics, spatial analysis technology and the Lorenz curve. The results showed that: (1) soil salt content had great spatial variability (coefficient variation >1.0) in both in 1982 and 2015, and about 56% of the studied area experienced transition the degree of soil salt content from one class to another during 1982-2015. (2) Lorenz curves describing the proportions of soil salinity accumulation (SSA) identified that the boundary between soil salinity migration and accumulation regions was 24.3m lower in 2015 than in 1982, suggesting a spatio-temporal inequality in loading of the soil salinity transport region, indicating significant migration of soil salinity from the upstream to the downstream watershed. (3) Regardless of migration or accumulation region, the mean value of SSA per unit area was 0.17kg/m2 higher in 2015 than 1982 (p<0.01) and the increasing SSA per unit area in irrigated land significantly increased by 0.19kg/m2 compared with the migration region. Dramatic accumulation of soil salinity in all land use types was clearly increased by 0.29kg/m2 in this agricultural watershed during the studied period in the arid northwest of China. This study demonstrates the spatial patterns of soil salinity accumulation, which is particularly useful for estimating the spatial transport of soil salinity at the watershed scale.

KEYWORDS:

Arid land; Geostatistics; Land use; Lorenz curve; Soil salinity variation; Soil salinization

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