Analysis of the ancient river system in Loulan Period in Lop Nur Region

J. Zhu, P. Jia, Y. Nie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Lop Nur region is located in the east of the Tarim Basin. It has served as the strategic passage and communication hub of the Silk Road since Han Dynasty. During Wei-Jin period, the river system there was well developed and the ancient city of Loulan was bred there. In this study, GIS is used to accomplish automatic extraction of the river course in the Lop Nur region at first using ArcGIS. Then the RCI index is constituted to extract ancient river course from Landsat ETM image with band 3 and band 4. It is concluded that the north river course of Peacock River conformed before the end of the 4th century AD according to the distribution of the entire river course of the Lop Nur region. Later, the Peacock River changed its way to south to Tarim River, and flowed into Lop Nur along the direction paralleling Altun Mountain from west to east. It was the change of the river system that mainly caused the decrease in water supply around ancient city of Loulan before the end of 4th century. The ancient city of Loulan has been gradually ruined in the sand because of the absence of water supply since then.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsQ. Tong, X. Gu, B. Zhu
PublisherSPIE-International Society for Optics and Photonics
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event17th China Symposium On Remote Sensing 2010 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 27 Aug 201031 Aug 2010
Conference number: 17


Conference17th China Symposium On Remote Sensing 2010


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