Climate Dynamics

, Volume 48, Issue 1–2, pp 53–70 | Cite as

The effects of monsoons and climate teleconnections on the Niangziguan Karst Spring discharge in North China

  • Juan Zhang
  • Yonghong Hao
  • Bill X. Hu
  • Xueli Huo
  • Pengmei Hao
  • Zhongfang Liu


Karst aquifers supply drinking water for 25 % of the world’s population, and they are, however, vulnerable to climate change. This study is aimed to investigate the effects of various monsoons and teleconnection patterns on Niangziguan Karst Spring (NKS) discharge in North China for sustainable exploration of the karst groundwater resources. The monsoons studied include the Indian Summer Monsoon, the West North Pacific Monsoon and the East Asian Summer Monsoon. The climate teleconnection patterns explored include the Indian Ocean Dipole, E1 Niño Southern Oscillation, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The wavelet transform and wavelet coherence methods are used to analyze the karst hydrological processes in the NKS Basin, and reveal the relations between the climate indices with precipitation and the spring discharge. The study results indicate that both the monsoons and the climate teleconnections significantly affect precipitation in the NKS Basin. The time scales that the monsoons resonate with precipitation are strongly concentrated on the time scales of 0.5-, 1-, 2.5- and 3.5-year, and that climate teleconnections resonate with precipitation are relatively weak and diverged from 0.5-, 1-, 2-, 2.5-, to 8-year time scales, respectively. Because the climate signals have to overcome the resistance of heterogeneous aquifers before reaching spring discharge, with high energy, the strong climate signals (e.g. monsoons) are able to penetrate through aquifers and act on spring discharge. So the spring discharge is more strongly affected by monsoons than the climate teleconnections. During the groundwater flow process, the precipitation signals will be attenuated, delayed, merged, and changed by karst aquifers. Therefore, the coherence coefficients between the spring discharge and climate indices are smaller than those between precipitation and climate indices. Further, the fluctuation of the spring discharge is not coincident with that of precipitation in most situations. Karst spring discharge as a proxy can represent groundwater resource variability at a regional scale, and is more strongly influenced by climate variation.


Monsoon Climate teleconnection Karst spring Wavelet transform Wavelet coherence Global coherence coefficient 



This work is partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China 41272245, 41402210, 40972165, and 40572150, and China Scholarship Council 201508120014. Our thanks extend to Dr. Yoshiyuki Kajikawa for providing the monthly mean data of ISM and WNPM indices, and Professor Jianping Li for providing the monthly mean data of EASM index. The authors sincerely thank two anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive comments to improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Zhang
    • 1
  • Yonghong Hao
    • 2
  • Bill X. Hu
    • 3
    • 4
  • Xueli Huo
    • 5
    • 6
  • Pengmei Hao
    • 7
  • Zhongfang Liu
    • 8
  1. 1.College of Mathematical ScienceTianjin Normal UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Tianjin Key Laboratory of Water Resources and EnvironmentTianjin Normal UniversityTianjinChina
  3. 3.Department of EcologyJinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  5. 5.College of Global Change and Earth System Science (GCESS), Joint Center for Global Change StudiesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  6. 6.College of Urban and Environmental ScienceTianjin Normal UniversityTianjinChina
  7. 7.School of Computer SoftwareTianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  8. 8.State Key Laboratory of Marine GeologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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