Dynamics of land surface temperature (LST) in response to land use and land cover (LULC) changes in the Weigan and Kuqa river oasis, Xinjiang, China


Land use and land cover (LULC) changes caused by human activities have strong influences on regional environment. Land surface temperate plays an important role in studying the impact of LULC changes on regional environment. In this paper, remotely sensed thermal infrared data were used to assess land surface temperature (LST) in the Weigan and Kuqa river oasis, Xingjiang, one of the important agricultural areas in the northwestern China. The present study deals with the extraction of LST and the relationship between LULC changes using Landsat 5 TM acquired on September 25, 1989, and September 6, 2011. The results indicate that the surface temperature of water body, bare land, and desert changed significantly between 1989 and 2011. In general, the LST was lower in 1989 than in 2011. There were no lower, higher, and highest temperature zones in 1989. However, the minimum temperature was 10.7 °C in 1989 and 15.8 °C in 2011. The maximum temperature was 29.3 °C in 1989 and 41.8 °C in 2011. Regarding the LULC types, the desert features in the Gobi Desert warmed more quickly than the oasis. So, the temperature of the oasis was lower than the surrounded areas, resulting in a so-called “cold island” phenomenon. Oasis cold island effect index (OCIEI) shows that stability of oasis had rising trend from 1989 to 2011. In addition, the impact of LULC changes on LST was analyzed and the driving forces were also analyzed from 1977 to 2011. This study is significant for further understanding of the energy exchange status of soil-plant-atmospheric system and the regional heat distribution in arid and semi-arid areas of the northwest China.

Publication Title

Arabian Journal of Geosciences