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Data from: Validity, applicability and universality of fractal scaling laws for natural lakes


Hu, Shengjie et al. (2022), Data from: Validity, applicability and universality of fractal scaling laws for natural lakes, Dryad, Dataset,


We conducted a systematic investigation on the validity, applicability and universality of the fractal scaling relationships for natural lakes within China. Hydro-climatic zones from the Hydrological regionalization of China were taken as the statistical units for all the analyses. Lake size and hydrological parameters used in the analyses are from the HydroLAKES database. To test the validity of the fractal scaling relationships between lake properties, power law functions were fitted to these properties. To examine the effects of topographical relief on the power law size distribution, regional degree of topographical relief  was calculated for each zone based on ASTER GDEM2. To explore the potential impacts of human activities on the applicability of power law size distribution, Human modification index data was jointly analyzed with the power law distribution of lake size.


The Hydrological regionalization of China as the statistical units for data analyses. Natural lakes from HydroLAKES were extracted for each zone. The regional topographical reliefs of the study sites was calculated based on ASTER GDEM2 and he mean elevated lake sample sets were formed by sampling from locations within ±50 m of the mean elevation of each hydro-climatic zone. Human influence in each zone was quantified through Human modifacation index data. To compare the differences of human impacts among hydro-climatic zones, the HMI data of each zone was extracted and divided into three categories: “low” (HMI value is less than 0.4), “median” (HMI value is between 0.4 and 0.7) and  “high” (HMI value is  larger than 0.7). The data used in manuscript, including the Hydrological regionalization of China,  HydroLAKES, ASTER GDEM2 and Human modification index. All these analyses were publicly available and all these analyses were performed in ArcGIS 10.2.