ZHU Guofeng, QIN Dahe, TONG Huali, LIU Yuanfeng, LI Jiafang, CHEN Dongdong, WANG Kai, HU Pengfei. Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(5): 687-702. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3
Citation: ZHU Guofeng, QIN Dahe, TONG Huali, LIU Yuanfeng, LI Jiafang, CHEN Dongdong, WANG Kai, HU Pengfei. Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(5): 687-702. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3

Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China

doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3
Funds:  Under the auspices of Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M570864), Open-ended Fund of State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. SKLCS-OP-2014-11), Northwest Normal University Young Teachers Scientific Research Ability Promotion Plan (No. NWNU-LKQN-13-10), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41273010, 41271133), Major National Research Projects of China (No. 2013CBA01808)
More Information
  • Corresponding author: ZHU Guofeng.E-mail:gfzhu@lzb.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2015-08-25
  • Rev Recd Date: 2015-11-02
  • Publish Date: 2016-10-27
  • The Thornthwaite moisture index, an index of the supply of water (precipitation) in an area relative to the climatic demand for water (poten-tial evapotranspiration), was used to examine the spatial and temporal variation of drought and to verify the influence of environmental factors on the drought in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Results indicate that the Thornthwaite moisture index in the Hengduan Moun-tains had been increasing since 1960 with a rate of 0.1938/yr. Annual Thornthwaite moisture index in Hengduan Mountains was between -97.47 and 67.43 and the spatial heterogeneity was obvious in different seasons. Thornthwaite moisture index was high in the north and low in the south, and the monsoon rainfall had a significant impact on its spatial distribution. The tendency rate of Thornthwaite moisture index variation varied in different seasons, and the increasing trends in spring were greater than that in summer and autumn. However, the Thornthwaite moisture index decreased in winter. Thornthwaite moisture index increased greatly in the north and there was a small growth in the south of Hengduan Mountains. The increase of precipitation and decrease of evaporation lead to the increase of Thornthwaite mois-ture index. Thornthwaite moisture index has strong correlation with vegetation coverage. It can be seen that the correlation between Nor-malized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Thornthwaite moisture index was positive in spring and summer, but negative in autumn and winter. Correlation between Thornthwaite moisture index and relative soil relative moisture content was positive in spring, summer and autumn, but negative in winter. The typical mountainous terrain affect the distribution of temperature, precipitation, wind speed and other meteorological factors in this region, and then affect the spatial distribution of Thornthwaite moisture index. The unique ridge-gorge terrain caused the continuity of water-heat distribution from the north to south, and the water-heat was stronger than that from the east to west part, and thus determined the spatial distribution of Thornthwaite moisture index. The drought in the Hengduan Mountains area is mainly due to the unstable South Asian monsoon rainfall time.
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Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China

doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3
Funds:  Under the auspices of Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2015M570864), Open-ended Fund of State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. SKLCS-OP-2014-11), Northwest Normal University Young Teachers Scientific Research Ability Promotion Plan (No. NWNU-LKQN-13-10), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41273010, 41271133), Major National Research Projects of China (No. 2013CBA01808)
    Corresponding author: ZHU Guofeng.E-mail:gfzhu@lzb.ac.cn

Abstract: The Thornthwaite moisture index, an index of the supply of water (precipitation) in an area relative to the climatic demand for water (poten-tial evapotranspiration), was used to examine the spatial and temporal variation of drought and to verify the influence of environmental factors on the drought in the Hengduan Mountains, China. Results indicate that the Thornthwaite moisture index in the Hengduan Moun-tains had been increasing since 1960 with a rate of 0.1938/yr. Annual Thornthwaite moisture index in Hengduan Mountains was between -97.47 and 67.43 and the spatial heterogeneity was obvious in different seasons. Thornthwaite moisture index was high in the north and low in the south, and the monsoon rainfall had a significant impact on its spatial distribution. The tendency rate of Thornthwaite moisture index variation varied in different seasons, and the increasing trends in spring were greater than that in summer and autumn. However, the Thornthwaite moisture index decreased in winter. Thornthwaite moisture index increased greatly in the north and there was a small growth in the south of Hengduan Mountains. The increase of precipitation and decrease of evaporation lead to the increase of Thornthwaite mois-ture index. Thornthwaite moisture index has strong correlation with vegetation coverage. It can be seen that the correlation between Nor-malized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Thornthwaite moisture index was positive in spring and summer, but negative in autumn and winter. Correlation between Thornthwaite moisture index and relative soil relative moisture content was positive in spring, summer and autumn, but negative in winter. The typical mountainous terrain affect the distribution of temperature, precipitation, wind speed and other meteorological factors in this region, and then affect the spatial distribution of Thornthwaite moisture index. The unique ridge-gorge terrain caused the continuity of water-heat distribution from the north to south, and the water-heat was stronger than that from the east to west part, and thus determined the spatial distribution of Thornthwaite moisture index. The drought in the Hengduan Mountains area is mainly due to the unstable South Asian monsoon rainfall time.

ZHU Guofeng, QIN Dahe, TONG Huali, LIU Yuanfeng, LI Jiafang, CHEN Dongdong, WANG Kai, HU Pengfei. Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(5): 687-702. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3
Citation: ZHU Guofeng, QIN Dahe, TONG Huali, LIU Yuanfeng, LI Jiafang, CHEN Dongdong, WANG Kai, HU Pengfei. Variation of Thornthwaite Moisture Index in Hengduan Mountains, China[J]. Chinese Geographical Science, 2016, 26(5): 687-702. doi: 10.1007/s11769-016-0820-3
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