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Understanding hydrological trends by combining the Budyko hypothesis and a stochastic soil moisture model

Cong, Zhentao, Zhang, Xiaoying, Li, Dan, Yang, Hanbo, Yang, Dawen
Hydrological sciences journal 2015 v.60 no.1 pp. 145-155
basins, equations, evapotranspiration, humans, models, rain, runoff, soil water, water holding capacity, China
The actual evapotranspiration and runoff trends of five major basins in China from 1956 to 2000 are investigated by combining the Budyko hypothesis and a stochastic soil moisture model. Based on the equations of Choudhury and Porporato, the actual evapotranspiration trends and the runoff trends are attributed to changes in precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, rainfall depth and water storage capacity which depends on the soil water holding capacity and the root depth. It was found that the rainfall depth increased significantly in China during the past 50 years, especially in southern basins. Contributions from changes in the water storage capacity were significant in basins where land surface characteristics have changed substantially due to human activities. It was also observed that the actual evapotranspiration trends are more sensitive to precipitation trends in water-limited basins, but more sensitive to potential evapotranspiration trends in energy-limited basins.