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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 478739, 13 pages
Research Article

An Assessment of Human versus Climatic Impacts on Jing River Basin, Loess Plateau, China

1College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
3Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
4College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
5Northwest Research Institute of Engineering Investigations and Design, Xi’an, Shaanxi 710003, China

Received 19 January 2015; Revised 30 March 2015; Accepted 1 April 2015

Academic Editor: Gwo-Fong Lin

Copyright © 2015 Yi He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The impacts of climate change and human activities on runoff and sediment load are too integrated to distinguish their own contributions. We develop a new method to assess the impact of human activities based on paired years with similar precipitation and evapotranspiration (ET0) conditions (SPEC) using a 55-year monthly data of climate, runoff, and sediment load in 1958–2012 at Zhangjiashan Hydrologic Station of Jing River, Loess Plateau, China. The SPEC of paired periods is defined by similar annual amounts (difference less than 2.0%) and similar process (linear correlations of monthly data less than 0.05) which could set a precondition fixing the possible influence of climate factors. The runoff declined in all nine paired years, but the sediment load and concentration decreased in seven (78%) and six (67%) paired years, respectively. The further analysis with available data of land use and land cover (LUC), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and soil and water measures in this basin and the results could explain impacts of human activities well. The method could be used combining with the traditional methods in hydrological research.