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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6716501, 11 pages
Research Article

Discharge Estimation for an Ungauged Inland River in an Arid Area Related to Anthropogenic Activities: A Case Study of Heihe River Basin, Northwestern China

1State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 29 June 2016; Revised 21 September 2016; Accepted 2 November 2016

Academic Editor: Jan Friesen

Copyright © 2016 Shuang Liu 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.


In the arid areas, the discharge in some reaches is unsurveyed, which makes related works trapped. It is important to estimate a long-term discharge in an ungauged river using available fragmentary data including those on human activities. In this work, the authors proposed a procedure of monthly discharge estimation for an ungauged inland river based on spatiotemporally discontinuous information, such as water diversion for irrigation, water allocation planning, and statistical relations of discharge at different locations. A typical ungauged river reach of Heihe River in northwestern China was selected as a case study. Monthly discharge from 1991 to 2007 at one gauged section was estimated using this procedure to validate the procedure, and the results show its potential in estimating discharge for an ungauged area. Monthly discharge from 1979 to 2014 at four unmonitored sections was estimated using the same procedure, and the trend analysis was conducted to check the facticity of the estimated discharge. The annual and monthly trends could well describe the effects of anthropogenic activities on the flow at different sections. In general, the method is feasible to provide support pertaining to water management or eco-hydrological researches and could be easily extended to other similar places.