The spatial and temporal contribution of glacier runoff to watershed discharge in the Yarkant River Basin, Northwest China

Yin, Zhenliang and Feng, Qi and Liu, Shiyin and Zhou, Songbing and Li, Jing and Yang, Linshan and Deo, Ravinesh C. (2017) The spatial and temporal contribution of glacier runoff to watershed discharge in the Yarkant River Basin, Northwest China. Water, 9 (3). pp. 159-178.

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In this paper, a glacial module based on an enhanced temperature-index approach was successfully introduced into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate the glacier runoff and water balance of a glacierized watershed, the mountainous region of the Yarkant River Basin (YRB) in Karakoram. Calibration and validation of the SWAT model were based on comparisons between the simulated and observed discharge with a monthly temporal resolution from 1961 to 2011 for the Kaqun hydrological station. The results reaffirmed the viability of the approach for simulating glacier runoff, as evidenced by a Nash–Sutcliff Efficiency (NSE) of 0.82–0.86 as well as a percentage bias (PBIAS) of −4.5% to 2.4%, for the calibration and validation periods, respectively. Over the last 50 years, the total discharge and glacier runoff both exhibited increasing trends with 0.031 × 109 m3·a−1 and 0.011 × 109 m3·a−1. The annual glacier runoff contribution to the streamflow was between 42.3% and 64.5%, with an average of 51.6%, although the glaciers accounted for only 12.6% of the watershed drainage area in the mountainous YRB. The monthly contribution of the glacier runoff ranged from 11.0% in April to 62.1% in August, and the glacier runoff from June to September accounted for about 86.3% of the annual glacier runoff. Runoff from the mountainous regions above 5000 m a.s.l. accounted for 70.5% of the total discharge, with glacier runoff contributions being approximately 46.4%.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: R.C. Deo thanks CAS Presidential International Fellowship Initiative and USQ Academic Development and Outside Studies Program (2016). Published version made accessible under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 02:50
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 02:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: glacier runoff contribution; distributed hydrological modeling; Yarkant River Basin; soil and water assessment tool (SWAT); Karakoram
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040608 Surfacewater Hydrology
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040601 Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3390/w9030159

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