This book presents the spatial and temporal dynamics of land use and land cover in the central Tibetan Plateau during the last two decades, based on various types of satellite data, long-term field investigation and GIS techniques. Further, it demonstrates how remote sensing can be used to map and characterize land use, land cover and their dynamic processes in mountainous regions, and to monitor and model relevant biophysical parameters.
The Tibetan Plateau, the highest and largest plateau on the Earth and well known as “the roof of the world,” is a huge mountainous area on the Eurasian continent and covers millions of square kilometers, with an average elevation of over 4000 m. After providing an overview of the background and an introduction to land use and land cover change, the book analyzes the current land use status, dynamic changes and spatial distribution patterns of different land-use types in the study area, using various types of remotely sensed data, digital elevation models and GIS spatial analysis methods to do so. In turn, it discusses the main driving forces, based on the main physical environment variables and socioeconomic data, and provides a future scenario analysis of land use change using a Markov chain model. Given its scope, it provides a valuable reference guide for researchers, scientists and graduate students working on environmental change in mountainous regions around the globe, and for practitioners working at government and non-government agencies.