Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 85-102.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1716-9

• Special Issue: Global and Regional Land Surface Characteristics and Socio-economic Scenarios • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of climate change and LULC change on runoff in the Jinsha River Basin

CHEN Qihui1, CHEN Hua1,*(), ZHANG Jun2, HOU Yukun1, SHEN Mingxi1, CHEN Jie1, XU Chongyu1,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    2. Hydrology Bureau of Yangtze River Water Conservancy Commission, Wuhan 430015, China
    3. Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Received:2018-12-20 Accepted:2019-03-28 Online:2020-01-25 Published:2020-03-25
  • Contact: CHEN Hua
  • About author:Chen Qihui (1995–), specialized in runoff response to land use change and climate change.E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No(2017YFA0603702);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(51539009);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(51339004)


The climate change and Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) change both have an important impact on the rainfall-runoff processes. How to quantitatively distinguish and predict the impacts of the above two factors has been a hot spot and frontier issue in the field of hydrology and water resources. In this research, the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model was established for the Jinsha River Basin, and the method of scenarios simulation was used to study the runoff response to climate change and LULC change. Furthermore, the climate variables exported from 7 typical General Circulation Models (GCMs) under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 emission scenarios were bias corrected and input into the SWAT model to predict runoff in 2017-2050. Results showed that: (1) During the past 57 years, the annual average precipitation and temperature in the Jinsha River Basin both increased significantly while the rising trend of runoff was far from obvious. (2) Compared with the significant increase of temperature in the Jinsha River Basin, the LULC change was very small. (3) During the historical period, the LULC change had little effect on the hydrological processes in the basin, and climate change was one of the main factors affecting runoff. (4) In the context of global climate change, the precipitation, temperature and runoff in the Jinsha River Basin will rise in 2017-2050 compared with the historical period. This study provides significant references to the planning and management of large-scale hydroelectric bases at the source of the Yangtze River.

Key words: Jinsha River Basin, SWAT model, climate change, LULC change, scenario simulation, GCM