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Volume 22, issue 7 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 4047-4060, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-4047-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jul 2018

Research article | 26 Jul 2018

Hydrological effects of climate variability and vegetation dynamics on annual fluvial water balance in global large river basins

Jianyu Liu1, Qiang Zhang2,3,4, Vijay P. Singh5, Changqing Song2,3,4, Yongqiang Zhang6, Peng Sun7, and Xihui Gu8 Jianyu Liu et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Critical Zone Evolution, School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 4Faculty of Geographical Science, Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 5Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
  • 6CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
  • 7College of Geography and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Anhui 241000, China
  • 8Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Abstract. The partitioning of precipitation into runoff (R) and evapotranspiration (E), governed by the controlling parameter in the Budyko framework (i.e., n parameter in the Choudhury and Yang equation), is critical to assessing the water balance at global scale. It is widely acknowledged that the spatial variation in this controlling parameter is affected by landscape characteristics, but characterizing its temporal variation remains yet to be done. Considering effective precipitation (Pe), the Budyko framework was extended to the annual water balance analysis. To reflect the mismatch between water supply (precipitation, P) and energy (potential evapotranspiration, E0), we proposed a climate seasonality and asynchrony index (SAI) in terms of both phase and amplitude mismatch between P and E0. Considering streamflow changes in 26 large river basins as a case study, SAI was found to the key factor explaining 51% of the annual variance of parameter n. Furthermore, the vegetation dynamics (M) remarkably impacted the temporal variation in n, explaining 67% of the variance. With SAI and M, a semi-empirical formula for parameter n was developed at the annual scale to describe annual runoff (R) and evapotranspiration (E). The impacts of climate variability (Pe, E0 and SAI) and M on R and E changes were then quantified. Results showed that R and E changes were controlled mainly by the Pe variations in most river basins over the globe, while SAI acted as the controlling factor modifying R and E changes in the East Asian subtropical monsoon zone. SAI, M and E0 have larger impacts on E than on R, whereas Pe has larger impacts on R.

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Considering effective precipitation (Pe), the Budyko framework was extended to the annual water balance analysis. To reflect the mismatch between water supply (precipitation, P) and energy (potential evapotranspiration, E0), a climate seasonality and asynchrony index (SAI) were proposed in terms of both phase and amplitude mismatch between P and E0.
Considering effective precipitation (Pe), the Budyko framework was extended to the annual water...
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