Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 647–655 | Cite as

Overflow probability of the Salt Lake in Hoh Xil Region

  • Xiaojun Yao
  • Meiping Sun
  • Peng Gong
  • Baokang Liu
  • Xiaofeng Li
  • Lina An
  • Luxia Yan
Article
  • 10 Downloads

Abstract

After the bursting of Huiten Nor in Hoh Xil Region in September, 2011, the topic on whether the water overflowed from the Salt Lake would enter into the Chumaer River and become the northernmost source of the Yangtze River has aroused wide concern from public and academic field. Based on Landsat TM/ETM+/OLI remote sensing images during 2010–2015, SRTM 1 arc-second data, Google Earth elevation data and the observation data from the Wudaoliang meteorological station, the study initially analyzed the variations of the Salt Lake and its overflowing condition and probability. The results showed that the area of the Salt Lake expanded sharply from October 2011 to April 2013, and then it stepped into a stable expansion period. On October 27, 2015, the area of the Salt Lake had arrived at 151.38 km2, which was about 3.35 times the area of the lake on March 3, 2010. The Salt Lake will overflow when its area reaches the range from 218.90 km2 to 220.63 km2. Due to the differences between SRTM DEM and Google Earth elevation data, the water level of the Salt Lake simulated would be 12 m or 9.6 m higher than the current level when the lake overflowed, and its reservoir capacity would increase by 23.71 km3 or 17.27 km3, respectively. Meanwhile, the overflowed water of the Salt Lake would run into the Qingshui River basin from its eastern part. Although the Salt Lake does not overflow in the coming decade, with watershed expansion of the Salt Lake and the projected precipitation increase in Hoh Xil region, the probability of water overflow from the Salt Lake and becoming a tributary of the Yangtze River will exist in the long term.

Keywords

water overflow reservoir capacity Salt Lake Hoh Xil Tibetan Plateau 

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Copyright information

© Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaojun Yao
    • 1
  • Meiping Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peng Gong
    • 1
  • Baokang Liu
    • 3
  • Xiaofeng Li
    • 1
  • Lina An
    • 1
  • Luxia Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Geography and Environment SciencesNorthwest Normal UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere SciencesNorthwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CASLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Qinghai Institute of Meteorological SciencesXiningChina

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