SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Quantitative analysis of hydrological responses to climate variability and land-use change in the hilly-gully region of the Loess Plateau, China 
Authors:Kang, Y., J. Gao, H. Shao and Y. Zhang 
Volume (Issue):12(1) 
Article ID:82 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:climate change and land use change 
Secondary Application Category:hydrologic assessment 
Watershed Description:7,689 km^2 Yanhe River, located in the Loess Plateau Region in Shaanxi Province in north central China. 
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Validation Summary: 
General Comments: 
Abstract:Climate and land-use change are the two main driving forces that affect watershed hydrological processes. Separately assessing their impacts on hydrology is important for land-use planning and water resource management. In this research, the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) and statistical methods were applied to evaluate the effects of climate and land-use change on surface hydrology in the hilly-gully region of the Loess Plateau. The results showed that surface runoff and soil water presented a downward tendency, while evapotranspiration (ET) presented an upward tendency in the Yanhe watershed from 1982 to 2012. Climate is one the dominant factors that influence surface runoff, especially in flooding periods. The average contribution rate of surface runoff on stream flow accounted for 55%, of which the flooding period accounted for 40%. The runoff coefficient declined by 0.21 after 2002 with the land-use change of cropland transformed to grassland and forestland. The soil water exhibited great fluctuation along the Yanhe watershed. In the upstream region, the land-use was the driving force to decline soil water, which reduced the soil water by 51%. Along the spatial distribution, it converted from land-use change to climate variability from northwest to southeast. The ET was more sensitive to land-use change than climate variability in all sub-basins, and increased by 209% with vegetation restoration. To prevent the ecosystem degradation and maintain the inherent ecological functions of rivers, quantitative assessment the influence of climate variability and land-use change on hydrology is of great importance. Such evaluations can provide insight into the extent of land use/cover change on regional water balance and develop appropriate watershed management strategies on the Loess Plateau. 
Keywords:climate shift; human activities; hydrological processes; SWAT; the Loess Plateau