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Multiple methods for calculating minimum ecological flux of the desiccated Lower Tarim River, Western China

Authors

  • Zhaoxia Ye,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China
    • Correspondence to: Zhaoxia Ye, State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 818 South Beijing Road, Urumqi 830011, Xinjiang, China.

      E-mail: yezx@ms.xjb.ac.cn

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  • Yanjun Shen,

    1. Lab of Hydrology and Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, Heibei, China
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  • Yapeng Chen

    1. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China
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ABSTRACT

We estimated the minimum ecological influx in the lower Tarim River via the wetted perimeter method using the curvature technique. Calculations were based on river geomorphology data during the fifth and sixth ecological water conveyances. Results showed that the minimum ecological influx of the three control sections of the river (Yinsu, Alagan, and Yiganbjima) were 2.85, 3.76, and 1.76 m3/s, which accounted for 9.7%, 14%, and 6.9% of the multi-year average annual discharges, respectively. Except for the dry season, annual ecological water demand of the river was 0.79 × 108 m3, excluding evaporation and leakage. Multiple methods were used to prove the rationality of the results. It is by using the Tennant method that the percentage of minimum ecological influx accounting for multi-year average flux varied from 6.9% to 14% (average 10.2%), which is considered normal for the maintenance of river habitat. It is by using the R2Cross method that the minimum ecological influx of the lower Tarim River was 2.935 m3/s. These calculation results mirror the actual situation and serve as the base of water-source distribution in lower Tarim River. Further research is required to validate and adjust the results according to long-term hydrographic observations. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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