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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 808565, 9 pages
Research Article

Modelling Snowmelt Runoff under Climate Change Scenarios in an Ungauged Mountainous Watershed, Northwest China

1State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2College of Resources and Environment Science, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
3Xinjiang Remote Sensing Center, Urumqi 830011, China
4MOE Key Laboratory of Regional Energy Systems Optimization, Sino-Canada Resources and Environmental Research Academy, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China

Received 1 February 2013; Accepted 14 April 2013

Academic Editor: Songlin Nie

Copyright © 2013 Yonggang Ma 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.


An integrated modeling system has been developed for analyzing the impact of climate change on snowmelt runoff in Kaidu Watershed, Northwest China. The system couples Hadley Centre Coupled Model version 3 (HadCM3) outputs with Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM). The SRM was verified against observed discharge for outlet hydrological station of the watershed during the period from April to September in 2001 and generally performed well for Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient (EF) and water balance coefficient (RE). The EF is approximately over 0.8, and the water balance error is lower than ± 10%, indicating reasonable prediction accuracy. The Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) was used to downscale coarse outputs of HadCM3, and then the downscaled future climate data were used as inputs of the SRM. Four scenarios were considered for analyzing the climate change impact on snowmelt flow in the Kaidu Watershed. And the results indicated that watershed hydrology would alter under different climate change scenarios. The stream flow in spring is likely to increase with the increased mean temperature; the discharge and peck flow in summer decrease with the decreased precipitation under Scenarios 1 and 2. Moreover, the consideration of the change in cryosphere area would intensify the variability of stream flow under Scenarios 3 and 4. The modeling results provide useful decision support for water resources management.