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Modelling Climate Change Impacts on Runoff in Northwest China

Author(s): Zuhao Zhou

Linked Author(s): Zuhao Zhou

Keywords: Glacier; Climate change; Inland river basin; Runoff components; WEP-GLAC;

Abstract: The inland region of northwestern China is a must-have area for the Silk Road on the land, which is of great significance for cultural exchanges domestic and foreign. The water resources are very scarce and the ecology is quite fragile in this region. In the inland of northwestern China, the mountainous area is the origin of runoff, while the piedmont and plain are the loss areas of runoff. Precipitation, glacial melt-water and snowmelt in mountainous area are the main sources of runoff. The runoff is sensitive to climate change. Due to poor data in-site, there are great gaps between researchers about what is the main reason of runoff growing and the trend of runoff variation in the future. In this paper, a glacio-hydrological model is developed based on the distributed hydrological model WEP and is used to model climate change impacts on runoff of an ungauged highly glacierized watershed located in the Qilian Mountains. The runoff composition of the study area in the past 60 years is simulated, including the spatial distribution and interannual variation of the three components of rainfall runoff, snowmelt runoff, and ice melt runoff. Combining climate prediction and remote sense of glacier variation, the future runoff variation was further predicted.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3850/38WC092019-0789

Year: 2019

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