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Quantitative Assessment of Surface Runoff and Base Flow Response to Multiple Factors in Pengchongjian Small Watershed

Ouyang, Lei, Liu, Shiyu, Ye, Jingping, Liu, Zheng, Sheng, Fei, Wang, Rong, Lu, Zhihong
Forests 2018 v.9 no.9
autumn, base flow, climatic factors, drought, ecological restoration, evapotranspiration, floods, forest management, runoff, spring, statistics, summer, water management, watersheds, winter, China
Quantifying the impacts of multiple factors on surface runoff and base flow is essential for understanding the mechanism of hydrological response and local water resources management as well as preventing floods and droughts. Despite previous studies on quantitative impacts of multiple factors on runoff, there is still a need for assessment of the influence of these factors on both surface runoff and base flow in different temporal scales at the watershed level. The main objective of this paper was to quantify the influence of precipitation variation, evapotranspiration (ET) and vegetation restoration on surface runoff and base flow using empirical statistics and slope change ratio of cumulative quantities (SCRCQ) methods in Pengchongjian small watershed (116°25′48″–116°27′7″ E, 29°31′44″–29°32′56″ N, 2.9 km2), China. The results indicated that, the contribution rates of precipitation variation, ET and vegetation restoration to surface runoff were 42.1%, 28.5%, 29.4% in spring; 45.0%, 37.1%, 17.9% in summer; 30.1%, 29.4%, 40.5% in autumn; 16.7%, 35.1%, 48.2% in winter; and 35.0%, 38.7%, 26.3% in annual scale, respectively. For base flow they were 33.1%, 41.9%, 25.0% in spring; 39.3%, 51.9%, 8.8% in summer; 40.2%, 38.2%, 21.6% in autumn; 24.3%, 39.4%, 36.3% in winter; and 24.4%, 47.9%, 27.7% in annual scale, respectively. Overall, climatic factors, including precipitation and ET change, affect surface runoff generation the most, while ET affects the dynamic change of annual base flowthe most. This study highlights the importance of optimizing forest management to protect the water resource.