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The peatland area change in past 20 years in the Zoige Basin, eastern Tibetan Plateau


Using unsupervised classification, visual interpretation, slope mask with the aid of ArcGIS and ERDAS, we analyzed the peatland area change in the Zoige Basin, eastern Tibetan Plateau, during last two decades on the basis of 12 Landsat-TM images. The results showed that the peatland area decreased seriously from 4143.39 to 3407.29 km2 between early 1990s and 2000 and increased slightly to 3588.71 km2 in 2009. Though peatland area change is positively correlated with the climate trend, the correlation is not very significant. Instead, in considering the population increase, stock development and government policy, we suggest that human activity is likely the more important factor that caus the peatland area variations.

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Correspondence to Yan Zhao.

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Yao, L., Zhao, Y., Gao, S. et al. The peatland area change in past 20 years in the Zoige Basin, eastern Tibetan Plateau. Front. Earth Sci. 5, 271 (2011).

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  • Zoige Basin
  • peatland area
  • remote sensing
  • TM images
  • human activity