Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (1): 143-154.doi: 10.11821/xb200401018

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Application of a Distributed Hydrological Model to the Yellow River Basin

YANG Dawen1, LI Chong1, NI Guangheng2, HU Heping2   

  1. 1. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan;
    2. Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2003-09-04 Revised:2003-11-21 Online:2004-01-25 Published:2004-01-25
  • Supported by:

    National 973 project of China, No.G19990436-01;Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)


For implementing water resources management in the Yellow River Basin, water resources assessment is very necessary and important. The accuracy of water resources assessment relies on predictability of the hydrological cycle. Different land uses, topographical features, geological and soil conditions, and artificial water uses (mainly agricultural irrigation) determine the complexity of hydrological characteristics in this basin. With the limited observation of the river discharge, it is difficult to develop a lumped model for simulating hydrology in different sub-basins based on parameter calibration. The physically-based hydrological model can be helpful in this case. The present research attempts to incorporate all available spatial information into the hydrological modeling by a distributed approach. A physical model is developed using the physical governing equations for description of the hydrological processes. It carries out a 10-year (1980-1989) simulation of the natural hydrological cycle. Based on the hydrological simulation, the paper discusses the spatial-temporal hydrological characteristics and the status of water resources in the Yellow River Basin.

Key words: hydrological process, spatial heterogeneity, distributed hydrological model, water resources assessment, the Yellow River