Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (7): 1101-1113.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201507007

• Climate Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sequence reconstruction and characteristics diagnosis of areal precipitation in the middle Yellow River from May to October during 1765-2010

Jian ZHANG1,2(), Zhimin MAN3, Jinxi SONG1, Tongsheng LI1   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. Research Institute for History of Northwest China, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China
    3. Center for Historical Geography Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2015-01-18 Revised:2015-03-29 Online:2015-07-20 Published:2015-08-11
  • Supported by:
    Humanity and Social Research Project of Education Ministry to Young Scholars, No.13YJC770064;Key Project of Chinese Ministry of Education, No.13JJD770019;Key scientific & technological innovation team plan of Shaanxi province, No.2014KCT-27;Postdoctoral Foundation of China, No.2015M572587;Scientific Research Project of Education Department of Shaanxi Province, No.13JK0042


Based on the records of water level at hydrological points and flood report in the Yellow River Basin during the Qing Dynasty, we reorganized the data record of Wanjintan water level concerning Shanxian County (named Shanzhou in the Qing Dynasty, presently Sanmenxia City now), and rebuilt the areal precipitation change sequence in the middle Yellow River from May to October between 1765 and 2010. In this study, accumulative anomaly methods, wavelet analysis, and moving t-test technique were used to examine the characteristics of flood in different phases, periodicities, and mutability of precipitation in the past 246 years. Results showed that precipitation increased rapidly from 1816 to 1863, 1902 to 1918, and 1938 to 1989; the precipitation decreased from 1765 to 1815, 1864 to1901, and 1919 to 1937. According to the wavelet analysis, five types of time scales of the areal precipitation were identified, with the average periods being 72.7a, 46.8a, 30.3a, 22.5a and 11.2a, respectively. By the method of moving t-test technique, three periods of the abrupt change were found in the sequence of areal precipitation, namely 1824-1826, 1856-1874, and 1933-1937. The sequence tendency of a decadal areal precipitation coincided with other alternative indicators, which reflected the precipitation sequence alignment and external factors. The corresponding period including different phases, such as the 1810s, 1840-1850s, 1880-1900s, 1920s, 1970s and 1990s. It is shown that the reconstruction results were consistent on the basis of proxy data from historical documents and natural indicators, and that there were a lot of uncertainties in historical climate change.

Key words: historical climate, areal precipitation, annual runoff, Wanjintan, the middle Yellow River