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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Using the radial basis function network model to assess rocky desertification in northwest Guangxi, China

  • Mingyang Zhang
  • Kelin WangEmail author
  • Chunhua Zhang
  • Hongsong Chen
  • Huiyu Liu
  • Yuemin Yue
  • Ingrid Luffman
  • Xiangkun Qi
Original Article

Abstract

Karst rocky desertification is a progressive process of land degradation in karst regions in which soil is severely, or completely, eroded. This process may be caused by natural factors, such as geological structure, and population pressure leading to poor ecosystem health and lagging economic development. Karst rocky desertification is therefore a significant obstacle to sustainable development in southwest China. We applied a radial basis function network model to assess the risk of karst rocky desertification in northwest Guangxi, a typical karst region located in southwest China. Factors known to influence karst rocky desertification were evaluated using remote sensing and geographic information systems techniques to classify the 23 counties in the study area from low to extreme risk of karst rocky desertification. Counties with extreme or strong karst rocky desertification risk (43.48%, nearly half of the study area) were clustered in the north, central and southeast portions of the study area. Counties with low karst rocky desertification (30.43%) were located in the west, northeast and southwest of the study area. The spatial distribution of karst rocky desertification was moderately correlated to population density.

Keywords

Radial basis function network (RBFN) Karst rocky desertification Northwest Guangxi, China Remote sensing (RS) Geographic information systems (GIS) 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Action Plan for the Development of Western China (No. KZCX2-XB2-08), National Fundamental Scientific Research Development Plan (No. 2006CB403208), and National Key Technology Research and Development Program of China (2009BADC6B008, 2006BAC01A10). We thank Wei Fu, Wei Zhang, QingQing Yang, FeiDe Fan, RongRong Yu and Teng Feng for their help in field validation. Finally, we would like to thank the anonymous reviewers who helped to improve the quality of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mingyang Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kelin Wang
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chunhua Zhang
    • 2
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hongsong Chen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Huiyu Liu
    • 3
  • Yuemin Yue
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ingrid Luffman
    • 2
  • Xiangkun Qi
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical AgricultureCASHunanChina
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  3. 3.College of Geography ScienceNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst EcosystemCASHuanjiangChina
  5. 5.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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