Climate Change and Its Driving Effect on the Runoff in the "Three-River Headwaters" Region

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2010-08-28

  Revised date: 2010-11-10

  Online published: 2011-01-25

Supported by

National Key Development Project (973 Plan), 2009


Based on the precipitation and temperature data of the 12 meteorological stations in the "Three-River Headwaters" region and the observed runoff data of Zhimenda in the Source Region of the Yangtze River, Tangnag in the source region of the Yellow River and Qamdo in the source of Lancang River during the period of 1965-2004, this paper analyses the trends of precipitation, temperature, runoff depth and carries out significance tests by means of Mann-Kendall-Sneyers sequential trend test. Makkink model was applied to calculate the potential evaporation. The runoff model driven by precipitation and potential evaporation was developed and the influence of climate change on runoff is simulated under different scenarios. Results show that during the period of 1965-2004 the temperature of the "Three-River Headwaters" region was increasing, the runoff of the three hydrological stations was decreasing. Both of them had abrupt changes in 1994, and no significant trend changes happened to the precipitation. The runoff model suggests that the precipitation exerted positive effect on the runoff depth, while the potential evaporation played a negative role. The influence of the potential evaporation on the runoff depth of the Lancang River is found to be the most; for the Yangtze River, it is less, and for the Yellow River, it is the least.

Cite this article

ZHANG Shifeng, HUA Dong, MENG Xiujing, ZHANG Yongyong . Climate Change and Its Driving Effect on the Runoff in the "Three-River Headwaters" Region[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2011 , 66(1) : 13 -24 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201101002


[1] Chang Guogang, Li Lin, Zhu Xide et al. Changes and influencing factors of surface water resources in the source region ofthe Yellow River. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2007, 62(3): 312-320. [常国刚, 李林, 朱西德等. 黄河源区地表水资源变化及其影响因子. 地理学报, 2007, 62(3): 312-320.]

[2] Zhang Shifeng, Jia Shaofeng, Liu Changming et al. Study on the changes of water cycle and its impacts in the source regionof the Yellow River. Science in China: Series E, 2004, 47(Suppl.): 142-151. [张士锋, 贾绍凤, 刘昌明等. 黄河源区水循环变化规律及其影响. 中国科学: E辑, 2004, 34: 117-125.]

[3] Li Daofeng, Tian Ying, Liu Changming. Impact of land-cover and climate changes on runoff of the source regions of theYellow River. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2004, 14(3): 330-338.

[4] Li Lin, Wang Qingchun, Zhang Guosheng et al. The influence of climate change on surface water in the upper YellowRiver. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004, 59(5): 716-722. [李林, 汪青春, 张国胜等. 黄河上游气候变化对地表水的影响. 地理学报, 2004, 59(5): 716-722.]

[5] Shi Xinghe, Qin Ningsheng, Wang Qingchun et al. Analysis on runoff variation characteristics and influencing factors inthe upper Yellow River. Journal of Desert Research, 2007, 27(4): 690-697. [时兴合, 秦宁生, 汪青春等. 黄河上游径流变化特征及其与影响因素初步分析. 中国沙漠, 2007, 27(4): 690-697.]

[6] Li Lin, Li Fengxia, Guo Anhong et al. Study on the climate change trend and its catasraophe over "Sanjiangyuan" region inrecent 43 years. Journal of Natural Resources, 2006, 21(1): 79-85. [李林, 李凤霞, 郭安红等. 近43 年来“三江源”地区气候变化趋势及其突变研究. 自然资源学报, 2006, 21(1): 79-85.]

[7] Shi Xinghe, Qin Ningsheng, Xu Weijun et al. The variations characteristic of the runoff in the source regions of the YangtzeRiver from 1956 to 2004. Journal of Mountain Science, 2007, 25(5): 513-523. [时兴合, 秦宁生, 许维俊等. 1956~2004 年长江源区河川径流量得到变化特征. 山地学报, 2007, 25(5): 513-523]

[8] Zhang Shifeng, Liu Changming, Xia Jun et al. Indoor imitation experimental study on driving factors of rainfall-runoffprocess. Science in China: Series D, 2005, 48(3): 417-428. [张士锋, 刘昌明, 夏军等. 降雨径流过程驱动因子的室内模拟实验研究. 中国科学: D辑, 2004, 34(3): 280-289.]

[9] Wu Xianing. The impact of climatic change on runoff in Chaohe River Basin. China Rural Water and Hydropower, 2010,(2): 5-12. [武夏宁. 潮河流域气候变化对径流量的影响分析. 中国农村水利水电. 2010, (2): 5-12.]

[10] Liu Changming. The Impact of Climatic Change on the Hydrological Situation of China. Beijing: China MeteorologicalPress, 1993. [刘昌明. 气候变化对中国水文情势影响的若干分析影响. 北京: 气象出版社, 1993.]

[11] Yu Fan. Analysis on effects of global climate change on water resource in the Yellow River Basin. Journal of ChinaHydrology, 2008, 28(5): 52-56. [於凡. 全球气候变化对黄河流域水资源影响分析. 水文, 2008, 28(5): 52-56]

[12] Jenson M E. Estimating evapotranspiration from solar radiation. Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1963,(12):15-41.

[13] Hossein Tabari. Evaluation of reference crop evapotranspiration equations in various climates. Water Resource Manage.,2009, doi: 10.1007/s11269-009-9553-8.

[14] George H Hargreaves, Zohrab A Samani. Reference crop evapotranspiration from temperature. Applied Engineering inAgriculture, 1985, 1(2): 96-99.

[15] Slavisa Trajkovic, Srdjan Kolakovic. Evaluation of reference evapotranspiration equations under humid conditions. WaterResource Manage., 2009, 23: 3057-3067.

[16] Allen R G, Pereira L S, Raes D et al. Crop evapotranspiration: Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. FAOIrrigation and Drainage Paper 56. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United, 1998.

[17] Pristley C H B, R J Taylor. On the assessment of surface heat flux and evaporation using large-scale parameters. MonthlyWeather Review,1972,100(2): 81-92.

[18] Li-Juan Li, Hao Wang, Juan Wang et al. Assessing the impact of climate variability and humanactivities on streamflowfrom theWuding River basin in China. Hydrol. Process., 2007, 21: 3485-3491.

[19] Xia Jun, Wang Gangsheng, Tan Ge et al. Development of distributed time-variant gain model for simulating nonlinearhydrological systems. Science in China: Series D, 2005, 48(6): 713-723. [夏军, 王纲胜, 谈戈等. 水文非线性系统与分布式时变增益模型. 中国科学: D辑, 2004, 34(11): 1062-1071.]

[20] Penman H L. Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil, and grass. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., A, 1948, 193: 120-145.

[21] Nietsch S L, Arnold J G, Kiniry J R et al. Soil and water assessment tool theoretical documentation. Version 2005. CollegeStation, TX: TexasWater Resource Institute, 2005.

[22] Zhang Xueqin, Ren Yu, Yin Zhiyong. Spatial and temporal variation patterns of reference evapotranspiration across theQinghai-Tibetan Plateau during 1971-2004. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2009, 114: D15105.

[23] Zuo Dakang, Wang Yixian, Chen Jiansui. Spatial distribution characteristics of solar radiation in China. ActaMeteorologica Sinica, 1963, 33(1): 78-96. [左大康, 王懿贤, 陈建绥. 中国地区太阳总辐射的空间分布特征. 气象学报,1963, 33(1): 78-96.]

[24] Wu Shaohong, Yin Yunhe, Zheng Du et al. Climate change in the Tibetan Plateau during the last three decades. ActaGeographica Sinica, 2005, 60(1): 3-11. [吴绍洪, 尹云鹤, 郑度等. 青藏高原近30 年气候变化趋势. 地理学报, 2005, 60(1): 3-11.]

[25] Leonard Robert Gardner. Assessing the effect of climate change on mean annual runoff. Journal of Hydrology, 2009,(379): 351-359.