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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6310401, 15 pages
Research Article

Separation of the Climatic and Land Cover Impacts on the Flow Regime Changes in Two Watersheds of Northeastern Tibetan Plateau

1Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Agriculture and Environment, University of Southern Queensland, Springfield, QLD 4300, Australia
4College of Earth Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qi Feng

Received 20 April 2017; Revised 4 July 2017; Accepted 6 August 2017; Published 26 September 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Viola

Copyright © 2017 Linshan Yang 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.


Assessment of the effects of climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) on the flow regimes in watershed regions is a fundamental research need in terms of the sustainable water resources management and ecosocial developments. In this study, a statistical and modeling integrated method utilizing the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) has been adopted in two watersheds of northeastern Tibetan Plateau to separate the individual impacts of climate and LUCC on the flow regime metrics. The integrated effects of both LUCC and climate change have led to an increase in the annual streamflow in the Yingluoxia catchment (YLC) region and a decline in the Minxian catchment (MXC) region by 3.2% and 4.3% of their total streamflow, respectively. Climate change has shown an increase in streamflow in YLC and a decline in MXC region, occupying 107.3% and 93.75% of the total streamflow changes, respectively, a reflection of climatic latitude effect on streamflow. It is thus construed that the climatic factors contribute to more significant influence than LUCC on the magnitude, variability, duration, and component of the flow regimes, implying that the climate certainly dominates the flow regime changes in northeastern Tibetan Plateau.