Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (1): 59-69.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1254-7

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation of areal precipitation in the Qilian Mountains based on a gridded dataset since 1961

Fang QIANG(), Mingjun *ZHANG(), Shengjie WANG, Yangmin LIU, Zhengguo REN, Xiaofan ZHU   

  1. College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2015-07-29 Accepted:2015-08-30 Online:2016-01-25 Published:2016-01-25
  • About author:

    Author: Qiang Fang (1987-), MS Candidate, specialized in global change and sustainable development. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Zhang Mingjun, Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41461003;National Basic Research Program of China (973Program), No.2013CBA01801


Based on a 0.5°×0.5° daily gridded precipitation dataset and observations in meteorological stations released by the National Meteorological Information Center, the interannual variation of areal precipitation in the Qilian Mountains during 1961-2012 is investigated using principal component analysis (PCA) and regression analysis, and the relationship between areal precipitation and drought accumulation intensity is also analyzed. The results indicate that the spatial distribution of precipitation in the Qilian Mountains can be well reflected by the gridded dataset. The gridded data-based precipitation in mountainous region is generally larger than that in plain region, and the eastern section of the mountain range usually has more precipitation than the western section. The annual mean areal precipitation in the Qilian Mountains is 724.9×108 m3, and the seasonal means in spring, summer, autumn and winter are 118.9×108 m3, 469.4×108 m3, 122.5×108 m3 and 14.1×108 m3, respectively. Summer is a season with the largest areal precipitation among the four seasons, and the proportion in summer is approximately 64.76%. The areal precipitation in summer, autumn and winter shows increasing trends, but a decreasing trend is seen in spring. Among the four seasons, summer have the largest trend magnitude of 1.7×108 m3×a-1. The correlation between areal precipitation in the mountainous region and dry-wet conditions in the mountains and the surroundings can be well exhibited. There is a negative correlation between drought accumulation intensity and the larger areal precipitation is consistent with the weaker drought intensity for this region.

Key words: gridded dataset, areal precipitation, principal component analysis, Qilian Mountains