Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (9): 1569-1579.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201709003

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of precipitation variations at different time scales in the northern and southern Altai Mountains

Dongliang ZHANG1,2(), Bo LAN1,2, Yunpeng YANG1,2   

  1. 1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-05-01 Revised:2016-07-22 Online:2017-09-30 Published:2017-10-12
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Young Foundation of China, No.41502168;Project of International Cooperation and Exchanges of NSFC, No.41361140361.

Abstract:

As one of the most important regions for paleoclimate study, the Altai Mountains are influenced by the prevailing westerly airflow throughout a year. In order to get a better understanding of the precipitation variations at different time scales (i.e., season, year, multi-decades, centennial and millennial scales) in the northern and southern Altai Mountains, we investigate the observed data from 11 meteorological stations and published paleoclimate documents (including tree rings, ice cores and lake cores) in the northern and southern Altai Mountains. The results show that the precipitation during the observed interval experiences a decreasing trend in the northern Altai Mountains, whereas an increasing trend in the southern Altai Mountains. The out-of-phase relationship of precipitation in the northern and southern Altai Mountains also exists in the two centennial intervals, the last millennium and the Holocene epoch. We propose that the out-of-phase relationships of precipitation variations at different time-scales (i.e., season, year, multi-decades, centennial and millennial scales) indicate that the Altai Mountains are an important climatic boundary. However, the reasons of out-of-phase relationship at different time-scales remains to be investigated in the future. The next work is not only helpful to understand the history of regional water vapor change, but also contributes to the understanding of the succession of the Silk Road culture along the Europe-Asian steppe.

Key words: Altai Mountains, precipitation, different time scales, paleoclimate