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Water 2015, 7(10), 5849-5875;

Water Discharge and Sediment Load Changes in China: Change Patterns, Causes, and Implications

1,2,3,4,* , 1,4
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, China
Key Laboratory of Regional Eco-Process and Function Assessment and State Environment Protection, Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yingkui Li
Received: 6 August 2015 / Revised: 8 October 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 26 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change)
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In this research, monthly hydrological and daily meteorological data were collected across China for the period 1956–2012. Modified Mann–Kendall tests, double mass curve analysis, and correlation statistics were performed to identify the long-term trends and interrelation of the hydrometeorological variables and to examine the influencing factors of streamflow and sediment. The results are as follows: (1) In the last 60 years, the streamflow in northern China has shown different decreasing trends. For the southern rivers, the streamflow presented severe fluctuations, but the declining trend was insignificant. For the streamflow in western China, an increasing trend was shown. (2) In the northern rivers, the streamflow was jointly controlled by the East Asian monsoon and westerlies. In the southern rivers, the runoff was mainly influenced by the Tibet–Qinghai monsoon, the South Asian monsoon, and westerlies. (3) Sediment loads in the LCRB (Lancang River Basin) and YZRB (Yarlung Zangbo River Basin) did not present significant change trends, although other rivers showed different degrees of gradual reduction, particularly in the 2000s. (4) Underlying surface and precipitation changes jointly influenced the streamflow in eastern rivers. The water consumption for industrial and residential purposes, soil and water conservation engineering, hydraulic engineering, and underlying surface changes induced by other factors were the main causes of streamflow and sediment reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: streamflow; sediment load; precipitation; monsoon; soil and water conservation engineering streamflow; sediment load; precipitation; monsoon; soil and water conservation engineering

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Jiang, C.; Zhang, L.; Li, D.; Li, F. Water Discharge and Sediment Load Changes in China: Change Patterns, Causes, and Implications. Water 2015, 7, 5849-5875.

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