Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (11): 1859-1875.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1993-z

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Trends and risk evolution of drought disasters in Tibet Region, China

CHEN Qiong1, LIU Fenggui1,2, CHEN Ruijie1, ZHAO Zhilong2, ZHANG Yili2,3,4,*(), CUI Peng2,3,5, ZHENG Du2   

  1. 1.College of Geographic Sciences, Qinghai Normal University, Xining 810008, China
    2.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3.CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    5.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS, Chengdu 610041, China
  • Received:2018-07-11 Accepted:2019-03-06 Online:2019-11-25 Published:2019-12-05
  • Contact: Yili ZHANG
  • About author:Chen Qiong (1975–), Associate Professor, specialized in land change science and GIS. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(No.XDA20040200);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41271123);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41261010)


The risk posed by natural disasters can be largely reflected by hazard and vulnerability. The analysis of long-term hazard series can reveal the mechanisms by which risk changes. Drought disasters are one of the main types of disaster in the Tibet Region (TR) of China. In this study, using statistical drought disasters data in the TR from 1912 to 2012 and socio-economic statistics for five periods between 1965 and 2015, and adopting standard statistical analyses, a wavelet analysis, and a risk assessment model, we first construct the index system for drought disaster risk assessment, and then assess the risk of drought disasters and analyze the mechanisms of changes in risk. The results showed that the occurrence of drought in the TR had three distinct cycles during this study periods, with durations of 5, 15, and 27 years respectively. The frequency of drought in the TR showed increasing trends, and the cycle of drought had been prolonged. From 1965 to 2015, the risk of drought disaster in the TR is significantly increased with the growth rate of 6.8% in high-risk area. In addition, the severity of drought had enhanced, especially in Qamdo. The increased vulnerability locally and significantly enhanced hazard of drought disaster, with a shrinkage of 16.3% in the low-value area and an expansion of 7.4% in the high-value area, being the determinants of drought disaster risk. Therefore, agricultural areas of the TR are the focal locations where risk of drought disaster needs to be managed.

Key words: Tibet, TR, Tibetan Plateau, drought disaster, risk evolution