Spatiotemporal trends of aridity index in Shiyang River basin of northwest China Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Drought/wetness conditions are fundamental not only for agricultural production but also ecology, human health, and economic activity. Dryness/wetness is a function of precipitation, temperature, vegetation and potential evapotranspiration. Regions with low moisture are often characterized by aridity which, in turn, reflects the degree of meteorological drought. Observed climatic data from eleven meteorological stations in and around Shiyang River basin, China, were used to calculate the aridity index (AI) which was defined as the ratio of potential evapotranspiration (ET0) to precipitation (P). ET0 was calculated using the PenmanMonteith method. The ordinary kriging method was used to interpolate the spatial variability of ET0, P and AI. The MannKendall test with a pre-whitening method was employed using the Yue and Wang autocorrelation correction to detect temporal trends. The TheilSen estimator was used to estimate the slopes of trend lines. Results showed a higher AI in the north basin and a lower AI in the Qilian Mountain region. Annual ET0 and P had increasing trends with a slope of 0.672 and 0.459mm per year, respectively, but trends were not statistically significant for most stations. While annual AI had a slight decreasing trend with a slope of 0.01 per year, the trend was not statistically significant for all stations. The decreasing trends in winter AI (at a rate of 0.313/a) was more significant than that in other seasons. The study indicates that the Shiyang River basin is getting slightly wetter, especially in winter.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Su, X., Singh, V. P., Niu, J., & Hao, L.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Su, Xiaoling||Singh, Vijay P||Niu, Jiping||Hao, Lina

publication date

  • May 2015