Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 77 ›› Issue (7): 1762-1774.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202207013

• Climate Change and Planet Geomorphology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vertical variation of precipitation in the central Qinling Mountains

LI Dawei(), DUAN Keqin(), SHI Peihong, LI Shuangshuang, SHANG Wei, ZHANG Zhaopeng   

  1. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2021-03-19 Revised:2022-04-10 Online:2022-07-25 Published:2022-09-13
  • Contact: DUAN Keqin;
  • Supported by:
    National Nature Science Foundation of China(41771030);National Nature Science Foundation of China(42101122);Natural Science Basic Research Program of Shaanxi(2021JQ-311)


A clear understanding of the precipitation variation patterns at high altitudes of the Qinling Mountains is a prerequisite for an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of this mountain range as China's north-south transitional zone and its important role of water resources in the Middle Route of South-North Water Transfer Project. However, understanding the precipitation changes in the mountainous areas of the Qinling Mountains has been hindered by limited effective precipitation observation data in these mountainous areas. An analysis of precipitation data measured from June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019, at an altitude of 3760 m at the Mount Taibai of the Qinling Mountains revealed that the annual precipitation at this altitude can reach 1300 mm, which is much more than the 600-800 mm annual precipitation recorded in the Hanjiang Basin and the Guanzhong Plain. On this basis, the persistence of annual and seasonal precipitation patterns in the Qinling Mountains was examined by kriging, inverse distance weighted interpolation, and ANUSPLIN methods, as well as GPM-corrected data (GPM-cal) and ERA5 reanalysis data. Accurate high-altitude precipitation values could not be obtained using kriging and IDW. However, GPM-cal, ANUSPLIN, and ERA5 data could more accurately portray the variation of annual precipitation with topography in the Qinling Mountains. An analysis of water vapor fluxes showed that the Mount Taibai has significant blocking, forcing, and intercepting effects on southward moist airflow below the 600 hPa height owing to its high terrains, making its southern slope a regional center of high precipitation values. Combining high mountain precipitation observations, ANUSPLIN, multi-source grid point information, and data correction methods is an effective way to understand precipitation formation and variation in the Qinling Mountains.

Key words: Qinling Mountains, precipitation, ANUSPLIN, GPM, ERA5