Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (2): 261-272.doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0925-2

• Climate Change and Hydrology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Runoff characteristics in flood and dry seasons based on wavelet analysis in the source regions of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers

BING Longfei1,2, SHAO Quanqin1, LIU Jiyuan1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2011-05-10 Revised:2011-10-12 Online:2012-04-15 Published:2012-04-15
  • Contact: Shao Quanqin, Professor, specialized in GIS and ecosystem informatics. E-mail:
  • About author:Bing Longfei (1979-), Ph.D, specialized in regional water and heat balance. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    National Key Project of Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs, No.2009BAC61B01


By decomposing and reconstructing the runoff information from 1965 to 2007 of the hydrologic stations of Tuotuo River and Zhimenda in the source region of the Yangtze River, and Jimai and Tangnaihai in the source region of the Yellow River with db3 wavelet, runoff of different hydrologic stations tends to be declining in the seasons of spring flood, summer flood and dry ones except for that in Tuotuo River. The declining flood/dry seasons series was summer > spring > dry; while runoff of Tuotuo River was always increasing in different stages from 1965 to 2007 with a higher increase rate in summer flood seasons than that in spring ones. Complex Morlet wavelet was selected to detect runoff periodicity of the four hydrologic stations mentioned above. Over all seasons the periodicity was 11-12 years in the source region of the Yellow River. For the source region of the Yangtze River the periodicity was 4-6 years in the spring flood seasons and 13-14 years in the summer flood seasons. The differences of variations of flow periodicity between the upper catchment areas of the Yellow River and the Yangtze River and between seasons were considered in relation to glacial melt and annual snowfall and rainfall as providers of water for runoff.

Key words: wavelet analysis, periodicity, runoff, flood seasons, dry seasons