High- and low-flow variations in annual runoff and their response to climate change in the headstreams of the Tarim River, Xinjiang, China

Authors

  • Hongbo Ling,

    1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Urumqi, China
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  • Hailiang Xu,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Urumqi, China
    • Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China
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  • Jinyi Fu

    1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, China
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Urumqi, China
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Correspondence to: Hailiang Xu, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China.

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

Abstract

Based on the hydrological and meteorological data recorded for the northern and southern headstreams of the Tarim River over the last 50 years, this paper analyses the variation characteristics of high-flow and low-flow indexes of annual runoff, air temperature and precipitation using a non-parametric test. Additionally, this paper also studies the correlations between these three time series on multiple time scales for both northern and southern headstreams employing wavelet analysis. The results show the following: (i) the annual runoff and air temperature had significant increasing trends, whereas precipitation had a non-significant increasing trend for the northern and southern headstreams. (ii) Abrupt changes appeared in precipitation in the north and south in 1990 and 1986, as well as in high-flow and low-flow indexes of annual runoff in 1993 and in air temperature in 1996. (iii) In the case of the northern headstreams, there was significant periodicity of 6 years in both high-flow and low-flow indexes and air temperature and of 3 and 8 years in precipitation. In the case of the southern headstreams, there was significant periodicity of 3 and 9 years in high-flow and low-flow indexes, 5 years in air temperature, and 5 and 8 years in precipitation. (iv) The high-flow and low-flow indexes in the headstreams of the Tarim River are closely related to the air temperature and precipitation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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