Partitioning the contributions of glacier melt and precipitation to the 1971–2010 runoff increases in a headwater basin of the Tarim River

Li, Z., Shi, X. , Tang, Q., Zhang, Y., Gao, H., Pan, X., Déry, S. J. and Zhou, P. (2020) Partitioning the contributions of glacier melt and precipitation to the 1971–2010 runoff increases in a headwater basin of the Tarim River. Journal of Hydrology, 583, 124579. (doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.124579)

[img]
Preview
Text
208882.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

6MB

Abstract

Glacier retreat and runoff increases in the last few decades characterize conditions in the Kumalak River Basin, which is a headwater basin of the Tarim River with a catchment area of 12,800 km2. To address the scientific question of whether, and to what extent, the observed runoff increase can be attributed to enhanced glacier melt and/or increased precipitation, a glacier evolution scheme and precipitation-runoff model are developed. Using the glacio-hydrological model, we find that both glacier cover area and glacier mass in the study area have decreased from 1971 to 2010. On average, the contribution to total runoff from rainfall, glacier melt and snowmelt are 60.6%, 28.2% and 11.2%, respectively. Despite covering only 21.3% of the basin area, glacier areas contributed 43.3% (including rainfall, snowmelt and glacier melt) to the total runoff from our model estimates. Furthermore, as primary causes of increased runoff in response to the warmer and wetter climate over the period 1971–2010, contribution from increases in rainfall and glacier melt are 56.7% and 50.6%, respectively. In comparison to rainfall and glacier melt, snowmelt has a minor influence on runoff increase, accounting for −7.3%. The research has important implications for water resources development in this arid region and for some similar river basins in which glacial melt forms an important part of the hydrological cycle.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work was financially supported by the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Program (2018B030324001), GDAS’ Special Project of Science and Development (2019GDASYL-0104001, 2019GDASYL0401001, 2020GDASYL-20200103002), and partially supported by the University of Glasgow CoSS strategic Research Fund, the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA20060402) and NSFC (31770493, 41790424, 41730645).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shi, Dr John Xiaogang
Authors: Li, Z., Shi, X., Tang, Q., Zhang, Y., Gao, H., Pan, X., Déry, S. J., and Zhou, P.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Hydrology
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-1694
ISSN (Online):1879-2707
Published Online:13 January 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Journal of Hydrology 583:124579
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record