In the past several decades, climate change and human activities have influenced hydrological processes, and potentially caused more frequent and extensive flood and drought risks. Therefore, identification and quantification of the driving factors of runoff variation have become a hot research area. This paper used the trend analysis method to show that runoff had a significant downward trend during the past 60 years in the Second Songhua River Basin (SSRB) of Northeast China. The upper, middle, and lower streams of five hydrological stations were selected to analyze the breakpoint of the annual runoff in the past 60 years, and the breakpoints were used to divide the entire study period into two sub-periods (1956–1974 and 1975–2015). Using the water–energy coupling balance method based on Choudhury–Yang equation, the climatic and catchment landscape elasticity coefficient of the annual runoff change was estimated, and attribution analysis of the runoff change was carried out for the Fengman Reservoir and Fuyu stations in SSRB. The change in potential evapotranspiration has a weak effect on the runoff, and change in precipitation and catchment landscape were the leading factors affecting runoff. Impacts of climate change and land cover change were accountable for the runoff decrease by 80% and 11% (Fengman), 17% and 206% (Fuyu) on average, respectively; runoff was more sensitive to climate change in Fengman, and was more sensitive to catchment landscape change in Fuyu. In Fengman, the population was small, owing to the comparatively inhospitable natural conditions, and so human activities were low. However, in Fuyu, human activities were more intensive, and so had more impact on runoff for the Lower Second Songhua River compared to the Upper Second Songhua River.
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