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Volume 10 Issue 4
Dec.  2022
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Article Contents
Zhu L, Yang MN, Liu JT, et al. 2022. Evolution of the freeze-thaw cycles in the source region of the Yellow River under the influence of climate change and its hydrological effects. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 10(4): 322-334 doi:  10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2022.04.002
Citation: Zhu L, Yang MN, Liu JT, et al. 2022. Evolution of the freeze-thaw cycles in the source region of the Yellow River under the influence of climate change and its hydrological effects. Journal of Groundwater Science and Engineering, 10(4): 322-334 doi:  10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2022.04.002

Evolution of the freeze-thaw cycles in the source region of the Yellow River under the influence of climate change and its hydrological effects

doi: 10.19637/j.cnki.2305-7068.2022.04.002
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  • Corresponding author: 381477131@qq.com
  • Received Date: 2022-04-12
  • Accepted Date: 2022-10-10
  • Available Online: 2022-12-27
  • Publish Date: 2022-12-31
  • As an important water source and ecological barrier in the Yellow River Basin, the source region of the Yellow River (above the Huangheyan Hydrologic Station) presents a remarkable permafrost degradation trend due to climate change. Therefore, scientific understanding the effects of permafrost degradation on runoff variations is of great significance for the water resource and ecological protection in the Yellow River Basin. In this paper, we studied the mechanism and extent of the effect of degrading permafrost on surface flow in the source region of the Yellow River based on the monitoring data of temperature and moisture content of permafrost in 2013–2019 and the runoff data in 1960–2019. The following results have been found. From 2013 to 2019, the geotemperature of the monitoring sections at depths of 0–2.4 m increased by 0.16°C/a on average. With an increase in the thawing depth of the permafrost, the underground water storage space also increased, and the depth of water level above the frozen layer at the monitoring points decreased from above 1.2 m to 1.2–2 m. 64.7% of the average multiyear groundwater was recharged by runoff, in which meltwater from the permafrost accounted for 10.3%. Compared to 1960-1965, the runoff depth in the surface thawing period (from May to October) and the freezing period (from November to April) decreased by 1.5 mm and 1.2 mm, respectively during 1992–1997, accounting for 4.2% and 3.4% of the average annual runoff depth, respectively. Most specifically, the decrease in the runoff depth was primarily reflected in the decreased runoff from August to December. The permafrost degradation affects the runoff within a year by changing the runoff generation, concentration characteristics and the melt water quantity from permafrost, decreasing the runoff at the later stage of the permafrost thawing. However, the permafrost degradation has limited impacts on annual runoff and does not dominate the runoff changes in the source region of the Yellow River in the longterm.
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