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Journal of Arid Land  2014, Vol. 6 Issue (1): 16-26    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0197-4
Research Articles     
Simulation of hydrological processes of mountainous watersheds in inland river basins: taking the Heihe Mainstream River as an example
ZhenLiang YIN1,2, HongLang XIAO1,2, SongBing ZOU1,2*, Rui ZHU3, ZhiXiang LU1,2, YongChao LAN1,2, YongPing SHEN1
1 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China;
3 College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  The hydrological processes of mountainous watersheds in inland river basins are complicated. It is absolutely significant to quantify mountainous runoff for social, economic and ecological purposes. This paper takes the mountainous watershed of the Heihe Mainstream River as a study area to simulate the hydrological processes of mountainous watersheds in inland river basins by using the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model. SWAT simulation results show that both the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency and the determination coefficient values of the calibration period (January 1995 to December 2002) and validation period (January 2002 to December 2009) are higher than 0.90, and the percent bias is controlled within ±5%, indicating that the simulation results are satisfactory. According to the SWAT performance, we discussed the yearly and monthly variation trends of the mountainous runoff and the runoff components. The results show that from 1996 to 2009, an indistinctive rising trend was observed for the yearly mountainous runoff, which is mainly recharged by lateral flow, and followed by shallow groundwater runoff and surface runoff. The monthly variation demonstrates that the mountainous runoff decreases slightly from May to July, contrary to other months. The mountainous runoff is mainly recharged by shallow groundwater runoff in January, February, and from October to December, by surface runoff in March and April, and by lateral flow from May to September.

Key wordsAlhagi sparsifolia Shap.      simulated groundwater depth      root system growth and distribution      ecological adaptability      root morphological plasticity     
Received: 08 March 2013      Published: 10 February 2014

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41240002, 91125025, 91225302, Y211121001) and the National Science and Technology Support Projects (2011BAC07B05).

Corresponding Authors: SongBing ZOU   
Cite this article:

ZhenLiang YIN, HongLang XIAO, SongBing ZOU, Rui ZHU, ZhiXiang LU, YongChao LAN, YongPing SHEN. Simulation of hydrological processes of mountainous watersheds in inland river basins: taking the Heihe Mainstream River as an example. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(1): 16-26.

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