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Journal of Arid Land  2017, Vol. 9 Issue (4): 609-621    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0095-2
Orginal Article     
Streamflow responses to climate change and LUCC in a semi-arid watershed of Chinese Loess Plateau
Qingyun LI1, Yanwei SUN1, Wenlin YUAN2,*(), Subing LYU1, Fang WAN1
1 School of Water Conservancy, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450046, China
2 School of Water Conservancy and Environment, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
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Climate change and Land Use/Cover Change (LUCC) have been identified as two primary factors affecting watershed hydrological regime. This study analyzed the trends of streamflow, precipitation, air temperature and potential evapotranspiration (PET) from 1962 to 2008 in the Jihe watershed in northwestern Loess Plateau of China using the Mann-Kendall test. The streamflow responses to climate change and LUCC were quantified independently by the elasticity method. The results show that the streamflow presented a dramatic decline with a turning point occurred in 1971, while the precipitation and PET did not change significantly. The results also show that the temperature rose markedly especially since 1990s with an approximate increase of 1.74°C over the entire research period (1962-2008). Using land use transition matrix, we found that slope cropland was significantly converted to terrace between 1970s and 1990s and that forest cover increased relatively significantly because of the Grain for Green Project after 2000. The streamflow reduction was predominantly caused by LUCC and its contribution reached up to 90.2%, while the contribution of climate change to streamflow decline was only 9.8%. Although the analytical results between the elasticity method and linear regression model were not satisfactorily consistent, they both indicated that LUCC (human activity) was the major factor causing streamflow decline in the Jihe watershed from 1962 to 2008.

Key wordsstreamflow      LUCC      climate change      Mann-Kendall test      elasticity method      Loess Plateau     
Received: 08 August 2016      Published: 10 August 2017
Corresponding Authors: Wenlin YUAN     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Qingyun LI, Yanwei SUN, Wenlin YUAN, Subing LYU, Fang WAN. Streamflow responses to climate change and LUCC in a semi-arid watershed of Chinese Loess Plateau. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(4): 609-621.

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