Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (3): 262-272.doi: 10.11821/xb200603005

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The Driving Forces of Environmental Change during the Last 50 Years in the Tarim River Basin

HAO Xingming, CHEN Yaning, LI Weihong   

  1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
  • Received:2005-10-09 Revised:2006-01-11 Online:2006-03-25 Published:2006-03-25
  • Supported by:

    Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.90502004; No.30500081


Based on the data of hydrology, vegetation and socio-economy during the last 50 years in the Tarim River Basin, this paper estimated the impact of anthropogenic activities on surface runoff through trend analysis, and measured the relationship between factorsof anthropogenic activities and surface runoff and groundwater quality by correlation analysis and principal component analysis. The results showed that during the past 50 years the headstream's runoff didn't decrease but increased and the mainstream's runoff decreased due to anthropogenic activities. The proportions of impact of anthropogenic activities on the mainstream's runoff are 41.59%, 63.77% and 75.15% respectively during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The main factor that affects water quality in the watercourse is the decreasing surface runoff induced by anthropogenic activities, and the main factor that affects water quality in irrigated and non-irrigated areas is groundwater level. In fact the ecosystem's degeneration in the lower reaches of the Tarim River is directly correlated with anthropogenic activities.

Key words: anthropogenic activities, runoff, water quality, groundwater level, principal component analysis, Tarim River Basin