Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (7): 853-862.doi: 10.11821/xb201007009

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The Computation and Characteristics Analysis of Water Vapor Contents in the Tarim Basin, China

YANG Qing1, LIU Xiaoyang2, CUI Caixia3, LI Jun1, LIU Rui1   

  1. 1. Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China;
    2. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;
    3. Xinjiang Weather Observatory, Urumqi 830002, China
  • Received:2010-03-06 Revised:2010-04-20 Online:2010-07-20 Published:2010-07-20
  • Supported by:

    The Science and Research Funds for the National Institutes, No.IBM200701; The Special Fund for Climate Change, No.CCSF-09-20; Natural Science Research Emphases Fund, No.40830956; The Special Fund for Commonweal Project, No.GYHY200706008; Desert Meteorological Science Research Fund, No.SQJ2007001


Monthly mean water vapor contents were computed using meteorological data from 5 radiosonde stations including Hotan, Kuqa, Ruoqiang, Kashi and Minfeng around the Tarim Basin China during 1976-2006, and a formula was established involving monthly mean water vapor content and surface vapor pressure. By this formula, we obtained water vapor contents of all the 28 weather stations around the Tarim Basin and also performed EOF of water vapor contents to study its spatial pattern. Changes of vapor pressure with the height were also analysed. The water vapor contents obtained by GPS in the center and surroundings of the Tarim Basin were compared with radiosonde reports. Results show that: there are two higher water vapor areas in the Tarim Basin, one is on the west edge and the other is on the north edge, and the contents are both between 13-14 mm. These two higher centers are both in the oases near the Tarim River, Yarkant River and Aksu River. The center of the Tarim River has the lower water vapor, with the content being only between 7-8 mm, and the lowest spot is in Tazhong station. The water vapor content presents an increasing trend from the basin center to the edges, then presents a decreasing trend due to higher altitudes outside the Basin. There is good linear relationship between water vapor contents obtained from GPS and radiosonde.

Key words: water vapor, precipitable water vapor, the Tarim Basin