Changing properties of precipitation concentration in the Pearl River basin, China

  • Qiang Zhang
  • Chong-yu Xu
  • Marco Gemmer
  • Yongqin David Chen
  • Chunling Liu
Original Paper


In this paper, precipitation concentrations across the Pearl River basin and the associated spatial patterns are analyzed based on daily precipitation data of 42 rain gauging stations during the period 1960–2005. Regions characterized by the different changing properties of precipitation concentration index (CI) are identified. The southwest and northeast parts of the Pearl River basin are characterized by lower and decreasing precipitation CI; the northwest and south parts of the study river basin show higher and increasing precipitation CI. Higher but decreasing precipitations CI are found in the West and East River basin. Comparison of precipitation CI trends before and after 1990 shows that most parts of the Pearl River basin are characterized by increasing precipitation CI after 1990. Decreasing precipitation CI after 1990 (compared to precipitation CI changes before 1990) is observed only in a few stations located in the lower Gui River and the lower Yu River. Significant increasing precipitation CI after 1990 is detected in the West River, lower North River and upper Beipan River. These changes of precipitation CI in the Pearl River basin are likely to be associated with the consequences of the well-evidenced global warming. These findings can contribute to basin-scale water resource management and conservation of ecological environment in the Pearl River basin.


Precipitation variability Concentration index (CI) Climate trend Spatial distribution Pearl River 



The work described in this paper was fully supported by a Direct Grant from the Faculty of Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Project No. 4450183), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: 40701015), and by the Outstanding Overseas Chinese Scholars Fund from CAS (The Chinese Academy of Sciences). Cordial thanks should be extended to three anonymous reviewers and Prof. George Christakos, the SERRA editor-in-chief, for their valuable comments and suggestions that greatly improved the quality of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qiang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chong-yu Xu
    • 3
  • Marco Gemmer
    • 4
  • Yongqin David Chen
    • 1
    • 5
  • Chunling Liu
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Space and Earth Information ScienceThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong, China
  2. 2.Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  4. 4.National Climate CenterChina Meteorological AdministrationBeijingChina
  5. 5.Department of Geography and Resource ManagementThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong, China

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