Magnitude, frequency and timing of floods in the Tarim River basin, China: Changes, causes and implications Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier B.V. The flood magnitude, frequency and timing were analyzed using daily flow data for a period of 1950-2007 from 8 stations in the Tarim River basin, a typical arid inland river basin in China. The causes for flood occurrences were investigated using daily meteorological data. Results indicated that precipitation and temperature were increasing persistently since the 1980s and significant increases in precipitation and temperature were observed after the 1990s. As a result, floods amplified at annual and seasonal time scales in most tributary basins after the 1980s. The floods in the basin are mainly attributed to rainstorms and melting of glaciers and snowpack, and rainstorm-induced floods and temperature-induced floods were dominant in the basin. Extreme floods, such as the three largest recorded floods and floods with return periods >. 10. years occurred mainly after the 1990s, with significant increase in flood-induced crop and livestock losses. It was found that heavy floods in many tributary basins often occurred about the same time. The Tarim River basin is a typical arid inland river basin in a high altitude zone and amplifying floods in recent decades, particularly after 1990s, is arousing considerable concern for mitigation of flood hazards. Results of this study shed light on hydrological response of arid regions to warming climate at higher latitudes in the northern hemisphere.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Q., Gu, X., Singh, V. P., Sun, P., Chen, X., & Kong, D.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Qiang||Gu, Xihui||Singh, Vijay P||Sun, Peng||Chen, Xiaohong||Kong, Dongdong

publication date

  • April 2016