Impact of meteorological drought on streamflow drought in Jinghe River Basin of China

Lin Zhao, Aifeng Lyu, Jianjun Wu, Michael Hayes, Zhenghong Tang, Bin He, Jinghui Liu, Ming Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Under global climate change, drought has become one of the most serious natural hazards, affecting the ecological environment and human life. Drought can be categorized as meteorological, agricultural, hydrological or socio-economic drought. Among the different categories of drought, hydrological drought, especially streamflow drought, has been given more attention by local governments, researchers and the public in recent years. Identifying the occurrence of streamflow drought and issuing early warning can provide timely information for effective water resources management. In this study, streamflow drought is detected by using the Standardized Runoff Index, whereas meteorological drought is detected by the Standardized Precipitation Index. Comparative analyses of frequency, magnitude, onset and duration are conducted to identify the impact of meteorological drought on streamflow drought. This study focuses on the Jinghe River Basin in Northwest China, mainly providing the following findings. 1) Eleven meteorological droughts and six streamflow droughts were indicated during 1970 and 1990 after pooling using Inter-event time and volume Criterion method. 2) Streamflow drought in the Jinghe River Basin lagged meteorological drought for about 127 days. 3) The frequency of streamflow drought in Jinghe River Basin was less than meteorological drought. However, the average duration of streamflow drought is longer. 4) The magnitude of streamflow drought is greater than meteorological drought. These results not only play an important theoretical role in understanding relationships between different drought categories, but also have practical implications for streamflow drought mitigation and regional water resources management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-705
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Geographical Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 25 2014


  • Jinghe River Basin
  • Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)
  • Standardized Runoff Index (SRI)
  • meteorological drought
  • streamflow drought
  • time lag

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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