Chinese Geographical Science ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 867-876.doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1231-7

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Baseflow Separation and Its Response to Meteorological Drought in a Temperate Water-limited Basin, North China

LIU Qiang1,2, YAN Sirui1,2, LI Miao1,2, MA Xiaojing3, LIANG Liqiao4, ZHANG Junlong5, PAN Jihua3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Key Laboratory for Water and Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    3. School of Geography and Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Rizhao 276826, China;
    4. Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China;
    5. School of Geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250358, China
  • Received:2020-07-16 Published:2021-09-02
  • Contact: LI Miao, LIANG Liqiao;
  • Supported by:
    Under the auspices of the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (No. 2018ZX07110001), National Key Basic Research and Development Project (No. 2017YFC0404505), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 42071129, 41771042, 51579008)

Abstract: Baseflow, a component of the total streamflow, plays a key role in maintaining aquatic habitats, particularly during extreme drought events. This study investigated baseflow response to a prolonged and extreme meteorological drought event in the Baiyangdian Basin (BYD basin), a temperate water-limited basin in North China. Applying a precipitation series, piecewise regression was used to determine this extreme meteorological drought event, while the Automatic Baseflow Identification Technique (ABIT) was used to estimate a recession parameter (α), which was used to isolate baseflow from total streamflow. Results showed that: 1) annual precipitation exhibited significant decreasing trends (P < 0.05) with an average change of –1.81 mm/yr2. The precipitation deficit revealed that the start and end date of the extreme meteorological drought event was from August 1996 to May 2011, respectively, persisting for a total of 178 months (roughly 15 yr); 2) hydrological drought (including streamflow and baseflow) lagged behind meteorological drought while predictably persisting longer than extreme meteorological drought (i.e., precipitation); and 3) baseflow decreased dramatically under meteorological drought at both seasonal and annual scales, resulting in significantly decreasing trends during drought periods. Findings from this study confirmed that hydrological events caused by extreme meteorological drought can alter the magnitude and duration of baseflow and total streamflow, which will have an inevitable influence on aquatic ecosystems.

Key words: baseflow, extreme drought, recession parameter, Baiyangdian Basin