The effects of land use change and precipitation change on direct runoff in Wei River watershed, China

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

The principles and degrees to which land use change and climate change affect direct runoff generation are distinctive. In this paper, based on the MODIS data of land use in 1992 and 2003, the impacts of land use and climate change are explored using the Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) method under two defined scenarios. In the first scenario, the precipitation is assumed to be constant, and thus the consequence of land use change could be evaluated. In the second scenario, the condition of land use is assumed to be constant, so the influence only induced by climate change could be assessed. Combining the conclusions of two scenarios, the effects of land use and climate change on direct runoff volume can be separated. At last, it is concluded: for the study basin, the land use types which have the greatest effect on direct runoff generation are agricultural land and water body. For the big sub basins, the effect of land use change is generally larger than that of climate change; for middle and small sub basins, most of them suffer more from land use change than from climate change.

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