Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 1584–1597 | Cite as

Assessing the influence of highway and high-speed railway construction on local climate using Landsat images in karst areas

  • Hua ZhouEmail author
  • Yang Luo
  • Fang-jun Ding
  • Qi-nan Lin


Large-scale transportation infrastructure construction in ecologically vulnerable areas such as the karst region of Southwest China requires estimation method for better project design. This research was carried out on a four-lane highway (the Guilin-Guiyang highway, G76) and a two-lane high-speed railway (the Guilin-Guiyang high-speed railway, GGHSR) in karst areas in Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. The highway and high-speed railway were constructed in the 2010s and covered by Landsat images whose multispectral information could be used for research purposes. In this study, the severity of the impact and the CO2 emissions from the G76 and GGHSR construction were evaluated. Landsat images and field meteorological measurements were applied to calculate the surface functional parameters (surface temperature and surface wetness) and heat fluxes (latent, sensible and ground heat flux) before and during the highway and high-speed railway construction; the amount of CO2 emissions during the G76 and GGHSR construction were determined by using budget sheets, which record the detail consumptions of materials and energy. The results showed that the decrease of water evaporation from the highway and high-speed railway construction can reach up to 26.4 m3 and 20.1 m3 per kilometer, which corresponds to an average decrease in the vegetation cooling effect of 18.0 MWh per day per highway kilometer and 13.7 MWh per day per high-speed railway kilometer, respectively. At the meantime, the average CO2 emission densities from the G76 and GGHSR construction can reach up to 24813.7 and 36921.1 t/km, respectively. This study implied that extensive line constructions have a significant impact on the local climate and the energy balance, and it is evident that selecting and planting appropriate plant species can compensate for the adverse effects of line constructions in karst mountain regions.


Highway construction High-speed railway construction Heat flux balance Surface temperature Landsat Vegetation cooling effect CO2 emission 


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This research was funded by the Science and Technology Department of Guizhou Province (No. [2019]1427), Guizhou Provincial Forestry Department (No. [2017]15) and National key research and development program of China (No.2016YFC0502605). This manuscript was improved by anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guizhou Academy of ForestryNanming District, GuiyangChina
  2. 2.Forestry CollegeBeijing Forestry UniversityHaidian District, BeijingChina

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