Impact Assessment of Human Activities on Runoff and Sediment of Beiluo River in the Yellow River Based on Paired Years of Similar Climate
Yi He1, Fei Wang2,3, Peng Tian4, Xing-Min Mu1,2,3, Peng Gao2,3, Guang-Ju Zhao2,3, Yi-Ping Wu5
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1College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University,
Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University,
Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
3Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources,
Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
4College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University,
Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
5School of Human Settlements and Civil Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an 710049, Shaanxi, China
Submission date: 2015-09-11
Final revision date: 2015-11-03
Acceptance date: 2015-11-04
Publication date: 2016-01-25
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(1):121–135
Climate change and human activities influence runoff and sediment load in an integrated way. However, under similar climate conditions the variability in runoff and sediment load is mainly a result of human activities. In this study, the change trends of runoff and sediment load were detected with linear regression analysis for the Beiluo River on the Loess Plateau, China. The impact of human activities on runoff and sediment was examined under similar weather conditions based on continuous monthly data of climate and runoff and sediment load from 1958 to 2012 at the Zhuangtou Hydrological Station. The results showed that:
1) Annual runoff and sediment load varied greatly and declined significantly in the study period, but precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (ET0) estimated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Penman-Monteith Method had no significant trend.
2) The paired periods with similar precipitation and ET0 were selected if they had similar annual amounts (less than 2%) and similar changing process controlled by monthly data (P<0.05). It has been demonstrated that the decreases of runoff and sediment load were mostly (60%, 70%, 75%) induced by human activities within the paired periods.
3) Evidence on the impact of human activities on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) change and sediment reduced by soil and water conservation practices could explain the runoff and sediment load change in this basin. The data indicated that approximately 46 Mt of sediment was deposited annually from 1960-99 as a result of soil and water conservation structures