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Journal of Arid Land  2016, Vol. 8 Issue (5): 681-693    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0015-x
Research Articles     
Sensitivity of runoff to climatic variability in the northern and southern slopes of the Middle Tianshan Mountains, China
ZHANG Feiyun1,2, BAI Lei1,2, LI Lanhai1*, WANG Quan3
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China;
2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka 422-8529, Japan
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Abstract  emperature and precipitation play an important role in the distribution of intra-annual runoff by influencing the timing and contribution of different water sources. In the northern and southern slopes of the Middle Tianshan Mountains in China, the water sources of rivers are similar; however, the proportion and dominance of water sources contributing to runoff are different. Using the Manas River watershed in the northern slope and the Kaidu River watershed in the southern slope of the Middle Tianshan Mountains as case studies, we investigated the changes in annual runoff under climate change. A modified hydrological model was used to simulate runoff in the Kaidu River and Manas River watersheds. The results indicated that runoff was sensitive to precipitation variation in the southern slope and to temperature variation in the northern slope of the Middle Tianshan Mountains. Variations in temperature and precipitation substantially influence annual and seasonal runoff. An increase in temperature did not influence the volume of spring runoff; but it resulted in earlier spring peaks with higher levels of peak flow. Damages caused by spring peak flow from both slopes of the Middle Tianshan Mountains should be given more attention in future studies.

Key wordsenergy consumption      economic growth      the decoupling relationship analysis      low-carbon economy      Kazakhstan     
Received: 27 December 2015      Published: 15 June 2016

This work was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB956204), the Special Funds for the Key Laboratory of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (2014KL015) and the Key Deployment Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZZD-EW-12-2).

Corresponding Authors: LI Lanhai     E-mail:
Cite this article:

ZHANG Feiyun, BAI Lei, LI Lanhai, WANG Quan. Sensitivity of runoff to climatic variability in the northern and southern slopes of the Middle Tianshan Mountains, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2016, 8(5): 681-693.

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