Climate and Environmental Change

Influencing factors of water resources in the source region of the Yellow River

  • 1. Qinghai Meteorological Bureau, Xining 810001, China|
    2. Qinghai Climate Center, Xining 810001, China|
    3. Qinghai Institute of Meteorological Sciences, Xining 810001, China

Received date: 2007-01-25

  Revised date: 2007-03-10

  Online published: 2007-06-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40405022; Special Fund for Social Public Welfare of Research Institutes, No.2005DIB3J109


Taking the source region of the Yellow River as a study area and based on the data from Madoi Meteorological Station and Huangheyan Hydrological Station covering the period 1955–2005, this paper analyses the changing trends of surface water resources, climate and frozen ground and reveals their causes. Results show that there exist frequent fluctuations from high to low water flow in the 51-year period. In general, the discharge has shown a de-clining trend in the 51 years especially since the 1990s. The annual distribution shows one peak which, year on year is getting smaller. (1) Precipitation has a significant and sustained influence on discharge. (2) A sharp rise of temperature resulted in the increase of evaporation and the decrease of discharge, which has a greater effect than on ice-snow melting. (3) Frozen ground tends to be degraded markedly. There is a significant positive correlation be-tween the permafrost thickness and the discharge. (4) Evaporation rates are significantly increasing, leading to the decrease of discharge. 70% of the discharge reduction resulted from climate change, and the remaining 30% may have been caused by human activities.

Cite this article

CHANG Guogang, LI Lin, ZHU Xide, WANG Zhenyu, XIAO Jianshe, LI Fengxia . Influencing factors of water resources in the source region of the Yellow River[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2007 , 17(2) : 131 -140 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-007-0131-9