Northern part of Shaanxi Province is particularly vulnerable to decertification due to its fragile ecosystem and intensive human activity. Studies reveal that decertification is both a natural and anthropogenic process. Four decertification indicators (vegetative cover, proportion of drifting sand area, decertification rate and population pressure) were used to assess the severity of decertification in the region with Geoinformation technology (Remote Sensing, Geographical Information System `GIS` and Global Positioning System `GPS`). The first three factors were derived from multitemporal remote sensing. The last factor was calculated from census data. It was found that the overall severity of land degradation in the study area has worsened during the study period (twelve years) from 1987 to 1999 with severely, highly and moderately degraded land accounting for 88.9% of the total area in 1999. While the area affected by decertification has increased, the rate of decertification has also accelerated to reach 71.1 km2 yr-1. Risk of land degradation in the study area has increased, on an average, by 46.6% since 1987. Incorporation of both natural and anthropogenic factors in the analysis provides realistic assessment of risk of decertification. A dynamic monitoring system of land cover changes and land degradation was developed in Arc/View GIS. The county level soil resources data and pattern maps; land use, land cover changes and land degradation maps for the study area during the study period and their corresponding data are integrated in the monitoring system.
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Ayad Mohammed Fadhil Al-Quraishi, 2004. Design a Dynamic Monitoring System of Land Degradation Using Geoinformation Technology for the Northern Part of Shaanxi Province, China. Journal of Applied Sciences, 4: 669-674.