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Water 2018, 10(4), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040470

Low Flow Regimes of the Tarim River Basin, China: Probabilistic Behavior, Causes and Implications

1,2,3
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3,4,5,* , 1,2
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6
and
3,4,5,*
1
College of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241002, China
2
Anhui Key Laboratory of Natural Disaster Process and Prevention, Wuhu 241002, China
3
Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
5
Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
6
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2117, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate on Hydrological Extremes)
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Abstract

Droughts are a frequent occurrence in Xinjiang, China, and therefore fundamental to determining their hydrologic characteristics is low flow analysis. To that end, 11 probability distribution functions and 26 copulas functions were employed to analyze the changing characteristics of low flow regime (defined as seven-day low flow) of the Tarim River Basin. Results indicated that: (1) The Wakeby distribution satisfactorily described the probabilistic behavior of the low flow regime. According to Akaike Information Criterion (AIC), Bayesian Information Criterions (BIC), maximum likelihood, and other residual-based metrics, Tawn copula, Farlie–Gumbel–Morgenstern copula and Frank copula were the best choice and used in this current study. (2) After 1987, hydrological droughts of longer return periods were prone to higher occurrence frequency. (3) The low flow volume has been increasing in recent years due to the temperature-induced increase of snowmelt and increasing precipitation. However, hydrological droughts can be expected to occur due to the massive increase in water demand from the development of irrigated agriculture, increasing arable land and livestock farming. As a result, the water shortage in the lower Tarim River Basin will be increasingly severe under the influence of climate change and human activities. To alleviate the shortage would call for the development of water-saving agricultural irrigation, water-saving technology, conservation of eco-environment and sustainable development of local socio-economy. View Full-Text
Keywords: probabilistic behavior; probability distribution function; copula function; low flow regime; Tarim River Basin probabilistic behavior; probability distribution function; copula function; low flow regime; Tarim River Basin
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Sun, P.; Zhang, Q.; Yao, R.; Singh, V.P.; Song, C. Low Flow Regimes of the Tarim River Basin, China: Probabilistic Behavior, Causes and Implications. Water 2018, 10, 470.

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