"Green" Cropland in Northwest China 

These Landsat images, acquired and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey, show the increase in cropland areas north of the Borohoro Mountains/ Tian Shan Range in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Northwest China from 1989 to 2010. 

This area of Xinjiang has fertile cropland with a low population density, few industrial and mining enterprises within irrigated areas, and comparatively little pollution, which provides the opportunities to create natural (green tones in the images) foods, protecting the environment. Many crops can avoid damage by plant disease and insects, thanks to the comparatively closed geographical position, so the dosage of farm chemicals can be reduced to a minimum. White cotton, tomatoes, and sugar are a few of the primary crops of the area. Irrigation and water diversion have allowed cropland areas to expand over the years. 

The city of Ürümqi is shown in the lower right portion of the images. The largest city in China's western interior is now home to 2.5 million residents, even if it is the most remote major city from any sea in the world. 

Landsat data are used by decision makers worldwide for future planning and land change analysis.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011