Influences of the Three Gorges Dam in China on precipitation over surrounding regions
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Impacts of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) in China on the regional pattern and annual amount of precipitation around the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) are examined by comparing observations before and after the operation of TGD (1984–2003 and 2004–13). Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the annual precipitation anomalies clearly indicates that the land-use change associated with the construction of TGD has not significantly changed the precipitation pattern. To investigate the impacts of TGD on the rainfall amount, we compare the relative variations of atmospheric variables related to precipitation formation in three spatial bands: over TGR, near TGR, and far from TGR. It is found that the differences in annual rainfall over TGD between the two periods before and after the operation of TGD are small, suggesting a weak impact of TGD on the rainfall amount. The TGD water level increased from 66 m before June 2003 to 175 m after 2010, and this may have slightly reduced precipitation on the local scale.
Key wordsThree Gorges Dam precipitation empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis
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