Journal of Yangtze River Scientific Research Institute ›› 2023, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 179-185.DOI: 10.11988/ckyyb.20220806

• Special Column of Scientific Expedition and Research in the Headwaters of the Changjiang River • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Extracting the Dynamic Change of Lake Area in the Three-River Headwaters Region Based on Google Earth Engine

QI Chang-xian1, REN Yan1,2,3, PENG Hai-yue1, WEI Jia-hua1,2,3,4, WANG Yong-qiang5, LI Qiong1,2,3   

  1. 1. School of Water Resources and Electric Power, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Plateau Ecology and Agriculture in the Headwaters of Three Rivers, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China;
    3. Laboratory of Ecological Protection and High Quality Development in the Upper Yellow River, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China;
    4. State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
    5. Water Resources Department, Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute,Wuhan 430010, China
  • Received:2022-07-11 Revised:2022-11-03 Online:2023-07-01 Published:2023-07-12

Abstract: Based on Google Earth Engine (GEE) remote sensing cloud computing platform and Landsat TM, ETM+ and OLI satellite image data, a comprehensive water body identification algorithm with multiple indices such as Modified Normalized Difference Water Index (MNDWI), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) was used to extract the area of lakes larger than 1 km2 in the Three-River Headwaters region (source region of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, and the Lancang River) from 1990 to 2020. In association with meteorological, glacier cataloguing and permafrost distribution data, the changes of lake area along with their influencing factors were analyzed. The findings of the study reveal a 15% increase in the overall lake surface area from 10 811.8 km2 to 12 449.53 km2, with 46 new lakes in the Three Rivers area since 1990. Specifically, the increase in lake area differed across sources, with more visible changes observed in the Yangtze River source area (29%) compared to the Yellow River source area (10%). Rising average temperature and increased precipitation were identified as the primary factors behind the increase in lake area. Specifically, increasing temperature caused glacier retreat and permafrost degradation, resulting in a faster increase in the area of glacier-replenished lakes and lakes located in permafrost areas. Precipitation was more closely related to the increase of lake area in the Yellow River source area.

Key words: Three-Rivers Headwaters, GEE remote sensing cloud computing platform, lake area, dynamic changes of lake, climate change

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