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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Climate Change and Land-Use on the Propagation from Meteorological Drought to Hydrological Drought in the Eastern Qilian Mountains

1
College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
The Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, Beijing 100038, China
3
Shiyang River Basin Water Resources Bureau of Gansu Province, Wuwei 733000, China
4
College of Social Development and Public Administration, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
5
State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Northwest institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730070, China
6
Gansu Engineering Research Center of Land Utilization and Comprehension Consolidation, Lanzhou 730070, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1602; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081602
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 24 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 2 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Changes in Drought Frequency and Severity)
As one of the most destructive and costly natural disasters, drought has far-reaching negative effects on agriculture, water resources, the environment, and human life. Scientific understanding of propagation from meteorological to hydrological drought is of great significance for accurate forecasting of hydrological drought and preventing and mitigating drought disasters. The objective of this study is to analyze the spatio-temporal variational characteristics of propagation from meteorological drought to hydrological drought and the associated driving mechanisms in the eastern Qilian Mountains using the standard precipitation index (SPI), standardized runoff index (SRI), and drought propagation intensity index (DPI). The results show that there has been meteorological humidification and hydrological aridification in the upper reaches of the Shiyang River Basin over the last 56 years; especially in the 2000s, the intensity of hydrological drought was the strongest and the intensity of meteorological drought was the weakest, indicating the propagation intensity of meteorological drought to hydrological drought was extremely strong during this period. The changes of meteorological and hydrological dry–wet are different, both on seasonal and monthly scales. The meteorological dry–wet is shown to have had a significant effect both on the current and month-ahead hydrological dry–wet, where the one-month lag effect was most obvious. The relationship between meteorological and hydrological droughts also vary in space: Hydrological aridification in the Huangyang River, and the rivers east of it, was greater than that in the western tributaries. The drought propagation intensities from west to east showed a decreasing trend, excluding the Huangyang River. Climate and land-use changes are the main factors affecting the propagation from meteorological drought to hydrological drought. When the natural vegetation area accounted for between 76.3–78%, the cultivated land area between 0.55–3.6% and the construction area between 0.08–0.22% were a peer-to-peer propagation process from meteorological drought to hydrological drought in the upper reaches of the Shiyang River. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought propagation intensity index (DPI); Qilian Mountains; drought indexes drought propagation intensity index (DPI); Qilian Mountains; drought indexes
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Zhou, J.; Li, Q.; Wang, L.; Lei, L.; Huang, M.; Xiang, J.; Feng, W.; Zhao, Y.; Xue, D.; Liu, C.; Wei, W.; Zhu, G. Impact of Climate Change and Land-Use on the Propagation from Meteorological Drought to Hydrological Drought in the Eastern Qilian Mountains. Water 2019, 11, 1602.

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