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Lakes are important fresh water resources. Accurate understanding of lake dynamic changes benefits the sustainable development of water resources and socio-economic development. Based on the Google Earth Engine (GEE), we analyzed the dynamics of Taihu Lake from 1984 to 2018 by adopting the dataset of Joint Research Centre's Global Surface Water and Landsat imagery. The modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) was used to explore the changes in the area of Taihu Lake in recent 35 years. The results showed that the area of Taihu Lake increased during 1984-2018, with a total increase of 45.31 km2. The area in spring and winter was larger than that in summer. Eastern Taihu Lake was the main part of Taihu Lake showing area change. Compared with 1984, 88.9% of the water area of Taihu Lake in 2018 did not change, and 0.3% of the water area disappeared permanently. Lake area changes were affected by both natural and anthropogenic factors. Agricultural irrigation, fish farming, reclamation of surrounding lakes, water conservancy engineering facilities, and the transformation of land-use types caused the reduction in lake area. Increased annual precipitation and the implementation of environmental protection policies were the main factors for the increases in lake area. The results provide reference for effective sustainable water resource management and verify the feasibility of monitoring long-term surface water change based on the GEE platform.


Yao-Yi Liu, Tian Tian, Peng Zeng, Xin-Yu Zhang, Yue Che. Surface water change characteristics of Taihu Lake from 1984-2018 based on Google Earth Engine]. Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology. 2020 Sep 15;31(9):3163-3172

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PMID: 33345518

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