Modelling of the hydrological connectivity changes in the Minjiang Upstream after the Wenchuan earthquake using satellite remote sensing and DEM data
H. Z. Zhang1,2,3, T. H. Chi1, and J. R. Fan21Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chines Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China 2Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chines Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, 610041, China 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
Received: 20 Jan 2015 – Accepted for review: 23 Jan 2015 – Discussion started: 05 Feb 2015
Abstract. The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake-induced landslides destroyed larger areas of mountain vegetation and produced large volume of landslide-debris, which made the vegetation's hydrological adjusting function diminished and made the hydrological progresses in slopes changed, resulting in severe erosion and catastrophic debris flows for a rather long time. Since 2008, the landslide-damaged vegetation and its hydrological function have been recovering. In this paper, the Minjiang Upstream watersheds around Yingxiu Town were selected. First, the landslide-damaged vegetation was identified and monitored via multi-temporal (2001–2014) satellite images. Then, the slope materials stability was assessed through topographic analysis of the vegetation survival environments. Then, the hydrological connectivity index (HCI) was defined to describe the upstream sediment production and downstream transport pathway. Finally, results indicated that HCI decreased annually with the vegetation recovery after the obvious increases during the earthquakes. While, analysis of 2008–2013 debris flow events indicated that the areas, the vertical drop to river <1000 m and the horizontal distance to river <2500 m, have high HCI increases and are more susceptible for debris flow formation. Monitoring the landslide-damaged vegetation recovery processes can contribute to assess the hydrological connectivity changes and understand the debris flow formation.
Zhang, H. Z., Chi, T. H., and Fan, J. R.: Modelling of the hydrological connectivity changes in the Minjiang Upstream after the Wenchuan earthquake using satellite remote sensing and DEM data, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 3, 1113-1136, doi:10.5194/nhessd-3-1113-2015, 2015.