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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 588; doi:10.3390/rs9060588

Quantifying Streamflow Variations in Ungauged Lake Basins by Integrating Remote Sensing and Water Balance Modelling: A Case Study of the Erdos Larus relictus National Nature Reserve, China

Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Academic Editors: Qiusheng Wu, Charles Lane, Melanie Vanderhoof, Chunqiao Song, Mishra Deepak R. and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 12 March 2017 / Revised: 21 May 2017 / Accepted: 7 June 2017 / Published: 10 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Climate Change and Water Resources)
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Abstract

Hydrological predictions in ungauged lakes are one of the most important issues in hydrological sciences. The habitat of the Relict Gull (Larus relictus) in the Erdos Larus relictus National Nature Reserve (ELRNNR) has been seriously endangered by lake shrinkage, yet the hydrological processes in the catchment are poorly understood due to the lack of in-situ observations. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the variation in lake streamflow and its drivers. In this study, we employed the remote sensing technique and empirical equation to quantify the time series of lake water budgets, and integrated a water balance model and climate elasticity method to further examine ELRNNR basin streamflow variations from1974 to 2013. The results show that lake variations went through three phases with significant differences: The rapidly expanding sub-period (1974–1979), the relatively stable sub-period (1980–1999), and the dramatically shrinking sub-period (2000–2013). Both climate variation (expressed by precipitation and evapotranspiration) and human activities were quantified as drivers of streamflow variation, and the driving forces in the three phases had different contributions. As human activities gradually intensified, the contributions of human disturbances on streamflow variation obviously increased, accounting for 22.3% during 1980–1999 and up to 59.2% during 2000–2013. Intensified human interferences and climate warming have jointly led to the lake shrinkage since 1999. This study provides a useful reference to quantify lake streamflow and its drivers in ungauged basins. View Full-Text
Keywords: lake streamflow; ungauged basins; remote sensing; water balance model; climate elasticity method lake streamflow; ungauged basins; remote sensing; water balance model; climate elasticity method
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Liang, K. Quantifying Streamflow Variations in Ungauged Lake Basins by Integrating Remote Sensing and Water Balance Modelling: A Case Study of the Erdos Larus relictus National Nature Reserve, China. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 588.

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