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Open AccessArticle

Quantitative Detection and Attribution of Runoff Variations in the Aksu River Basin

by Fanhao Meng 1,2, Tie Liu 1,*, Yue Huang 1, Min Luo 1,2, Anming Bao 1 and Dawei Hou 3
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, Jiangsu, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Y. Jun Xu, Guangxin Zhang and Hongyan Li
Water 2016, 8(8), 338;
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 2 August 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Complex Water Problems in China under Changing Environment)
Since the flow variations of Aksu River are strongly influenced by climate change and human activities which threat the local ecosystem and sustainable development, it is necessary to quantify the impact degree of the driving factors. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the impacts of climate change and human activities on the variability of runoff in the Aksu River Basin. The Mann-Kendall trend test and accumulative anomaly method were used to detect the break points of the flow difference value (FDV) between the upstream and downstream flume stations. The improved slope change ratio of cumulative quantity (SCRCQ) method and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model were applied to decouple the contribution of each driving factor to the FDV variations. Furthermore, a Pearson Correlation Analysis was performed to show the relationships among the driving factors and the FDV. The time series prior to the year (1988) of break point was considered as the baseline period. Based on the annual precipitation and the potential evapotranspiration (PET), the relative impacts of precipitation, PET and human activities on FDV variations as determined by the SCRCQ method were 77.35%, −0.98% and 23.63%, respectively. In addition, the SWAT model indicated that climate factors and human activities were responsible for 92.28% and 7.72% of the variability, respectively. Thus, climate change and human activities showed a similar scale of impact on FDV changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: runoff variation; climate change; human activities; Aksu River runoff variation; climate change; human activities; Aksu River
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MDPI and ACS Style

Meng, F.; Liu, T.; Huang, Y.; Luo, M.; Bao, A.; Hou, D. Quantitative Detection and Attribution of Runoff Variations in the Aksu River Basin. Water 2016, 8, 338.

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