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Water 2016, 8(6), 267; doi:10.3390/w8060267

Attribution of Runoff Change for the Xinshui River Catchment on the Loess Plateau of China in a Changing Environment

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Nanjing 210029, China
2
Research Center for Climate Change, Ministry of Water Resources, Nanjing 210029, China
3
School of Resources and Environment, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 2006, Xiyuan Avenue, Chengdu 611731, China
4
Big Data Research Center, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, No. 2006, Xiyuan Avenue, Chengdu 611731, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Y. Jun Xu, Guangxin Zhang and Hongyan Li
Received: 6 May 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2712 KB, uploaded 22 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

Stream flow plays a crucial role in the environment, society, and the economy, and identifying the causes of changes in runoff is important to understanding the impact of climate change and human activity. This study examines the variation trends in recorded runoff for the Xinshui River, a tributary of the Yellow River on the Loess Plateau, and uses hydrological simulations to investigate how climate change and human activity have contributed to those trends. Results show that the recorded runoff at the Daning station on the Xinshui River declined significantly from 1955–2008 with an abrupt change occurring in 1973. The Simplified Water Balance Model (SWBM) simulates monthly discharge well with a Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficient of 78% and a relative error of volumetric fit (RE) of 0.32%. Runoff depth over the catchment in 1973–2008 fell by 25.5 mm relative to the previous period, with human activity and climate change contributing 60.6% and 39.4% of the total runoff reduction, respectively. However, the impacts induced by climate change and human activities are both tending to increase. Therefore, efforts to improve the ecology of the Loess Plateau should give sufficient attention to the impacts of climate change and human activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: the Xinshui River catchment; runoff change; hydrological simulation; attribution analysis the Xinshui River catchment; runoff change; hydrological simulation; attribution analysis
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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Wang, G.; Zhang, J.; Yang, Q. Attribution of Runoff Change for the Xinshui River Catchment on the Loess Plateau of China in a Changing Environment. Water 2016, 8, 267.

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