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Open AccessArticle

Variation of Melt Water and Rainfall Runoff and Their Impacts on Streamflow Changes during Recent Decades in Two Tibetan Plateau Basins

1
Department of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Xihua University, Chengdu 610039, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, HoHai University, Nanjing 210098, China
3
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, 0316 Oslo, Norway
4
Powerchina Huadong Engineering Corporation Limited, Hangzhou 310014, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(11), 3112; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113112
Received: 18 September 2020 / Revised: 29 October 2020 / Accepted: 3 November 2020 / Published: 6 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Modeling in Water Cycle Processes)
To fully understand potential changes in hydrological regime over the Lhasa River Basin (LRB) and the upstream of Niyang River Basin (UNRB) in Tibetan Plateau under global warming, the VIC-glacier model was employed to analyze the responses of rainfall runoff and melt water to recent climate change, and we also quantify their roles in controlling the trend of river streamflow during 1963–2012. The hydrological model was calibrated using the observed streamflow, glacier mass balance, and MODIS snow cover. The simulations indicate that there is a significant increasing trend in glacier runoff for both basins during 1963–2012, especially in the period of 2000s when it exhibits a large increment up to about 45% relative to baseline period. Rainfall runoff suggests a rising tendency whereas snowmelt runoff displays a general decreasing tendency. For both basins, increasing rainfall runoff was identified as the dominant driver for the upward trend in total runoff during 1963–2012. The role of glacier runoff in controlling the trend of total runoff is also obvious, especially in the more glaciated UNRB where increased glacier runoff accounts for up to 41% of the tendency in river discharge. Snowmelt runoff plays a minor role in affecting the trend of total runoff. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitation and temperature pattern changes; runoff structure changes; river flow changes; VIC-glacier model; Tibetan Plateau precipitation and temperature pattern changes; runoff structure changes; river flow changes; VIC-glacier model; Tibetan Plateau
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Xu, C.-Y.; Hao, Z.; Zhang, L.; Ju, Q.; Lai, X. Variation of Melt Water and Rainfall Runoff and Their Impacts on Streamflow Changes during Recent Decades in Two Tibetan Plateau Basins. Water 2020, 12, 3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113112

AMA Style

Zhang Y, Xu C-Y, Hao Z, Zhang L, Ju Q, Lai X. Variation of Melt Water and Rainfall Runoff and Their Impacts on Streamflow Changes during Recent Decades in Two Tibetan Plateau Basins. Water. 2020; 12(11):3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113112

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Yueguan; Xu, Chong-Yu; Hao, Zhenchun; Zhang, Leilei; Ju, Qin; Lai, Xide. 2020. "Variation of Melt Water and Rainfall Runoff and Their Impacts on Streamflow Changes during Recent Decades in Two Tibetan Plateau Basins" Water 12, no. 11: 3112. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113112

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