LONG-TERM MONITORING OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES ALONG CHINA-EUROPE RAILWAY EXPRESS (CER EXPRESS) USING MULTI-SOURCE REMOTELY SENSED DATA
Keywords: Environmental monitoring, Multi-source, China-Europe Railway Express (CER-Express), Sustainable development
Abstract. The China-Europe Railway Express (CER-Express), not only promoted the cooperation between countries and regions across Asia and Europe but also gave rise to remarkable changes in landcover and had a profound effect on the natural environment along the railway in recent years. Effective ways to monitor and assess ecological changes are urgently needed to ensure sustainable development of CER-Express. There are very few existing environmental monitoring studies focusing on the area along the CERExpress. In this paper, we present a study of environmental degradation, which occurred during the construction and operation of CER-Express from 2010 to 2018, based on a comprehensive evaluation index (CEI), which takes three environmental indicators into account and provides a timely and reliable evaluation of environmental changes at large scales. In addition, the environment conditions of the regions and countries along the CER-Express have been quantified and comparatively studied at different scales over different periods, using histograms of mean CEI values. Furthermore, specific causes of environmental degradation in the rail-intensive countries and small-area countries along the railway are discussed. Our results show that the environmental degradation can be detected in most of the rail-intensive countries, such as Germany, Poland, Austria, and Czech Republic along the railway. Therefore, to ensure sustainability of the CER-Express, environmental protection along the railway should be paid more attention to and a reasonable arrangement for the exploitation of CER-Express devised.