Next Article in Journal
Projected Changes in Hydrological Extremes in the Yangtze River Basin with an Ensemble of Regional Climate Simulations
Previous Article in Journal
Framework for WASH Sector Data Improvements in Data-Poor Environments, Applied to Accra, Ghana
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2018, 10(9), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091277

Detecting the Dominant Cause of Streamflow Decline in the Loess Plateau of China Based onthe Latest Budyko Equation

1
State Key Laboratory of Eco-hydraulics in Northwest Arid Region of China, Xi’an University of Technology, Xi’an 710048, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
3
Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 10 September 2018 / Accepted: 16 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2418 KB, uploaded 18 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Quantifying the relative contributions of climate variability and human activity to streamflow change is important for effective water resource use and management. Four sub-catchments of the Wei River Basin (WRB) in the Loess Plateau in China were selected as the study region, where the evolution of parameter α from the latest Budyko equation (Wang-Tang equation) was explored using an 11-year moving window. The elasticity of streamflow was derived from the climatic aridity index, represented by the ratio of annual potential evaporation ( E P ) to annual precipitation ( P ), and catchment characteristics as represented by α . The effects of climate change and human activities on streamflow change during 1971–2010 were quantified with climate elasticity and decomposition methods. The contributions of different types of human activities to streamflow were further empirically determined using the water and soil conservation method. Results indicate that (1) under the same climate condition ( P and E P ), a higher value of α caused an increase in evaporation rate ( E / P ) and a decrease in runoff. Changes in these hydrological variables led to a subsequent reduction in streamflow in the WRB; (2) The absolute value of the precipitation elasticity was larger than the potential evaporation elasticity, indicating that streamflow change was more sensitive to precipitation; (3) The results based on the two methods were consistent. Climate change and human activities contributed to the decrease in streamflow by 29% and 71%, respectively, suggesting that human activities have exerted more profound impacts on streamflow in the study region; (4) Contributions of different water and soil conservation measures to streamflow reduction were calculated and sorted in descending order: Irrigation, industrial and domestic consumption, terrace, afforestation, reservoirs, check-dams, then grass-planting. View Full-Text
Keywords: Loess Plateau; streamflow change; Budyko framework; climate change; human activities Loess Plateau; streamflow change; Budyko framework; climate change; human activities
Figures

Figure 1

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, J.; Huang, S.; Huang, Q.; Wang, H.; Leng, G. Detecting the Dominant Cause of Streamflow Decline in the Loess Plateau of China Based onthe Latest Budyko Equation. Water 2018, 10, 1277.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top