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Ongoing drainage reorganization driven by rapid lake growths on the Tibetan Plateau

journal contribution
posted on 18.01.2022, 09:29 by Kai Liu, Linghong Ke, Jida Wang, Ling Jiang, Keith S Richards, Yongwei Sheng, Yunqiang Zhu, Chenyu Fan, Pengfei Zhan, Shuangxiao Luo, Jian Cheng, Tan Chen, Ronghua Ma, Qiuhua LiangQiuhua Liang, Austin Madson, Chunqiao Song
Drainage reorganization generally occurs on geological time scales under unstable river network conditions. A few local-scale studies indicate that recent climatic changes might accelerate the drainage reorganization process. However, large-scale drainage reorganization during the modern era is rarely documented. This study examines ongoing drainage reorganization on the endorheic Tibetan Plateau (TP) as a primary result of drastic lake expansion. A total of 11 drainage system reorganization events comprising 24 different lake basins and covering a total area of 61,115 km2 occurred between 2000 and 2018. Assuming the continued growth rate of TP lakes, we project another 20 basins will be reorganized before 2030. These drainage basin reorganizations not only alter hydrological processes in the endorheic TP but may also cause the endorheic-exorheic transition, leading to the upstream sprawl of the Yangtze River Basin and posing outburst flooding risks on China's key infrastructure such as the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Grant Number: 42171421;41901374;41971403;41930102

Chinese Academy of Sciences. Grant Numbers: XDA23100102, E129030101

Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (STEP). Grant Number: 2019QZKK020

Chuzhou Science and Technology Program. Grant Number: 2020ZG016

Chinese Scholars of Anhui Province. Grant Number: 2021LCX014

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Geophysical Research Letters

Volume

48

Issue

24

Publisher

Wiley

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© American Geophysical Union

Publisher statement

This paper Liu, K., Ke, L., Wang, J., Jiang, L., Richards, K. S., Sheng, Y., et al. (2021). Ongoing drainage reorganization driven by rapid lake growths on the Tibetan Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL095795 was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and is available at https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095795. © American Geophysical Union.

Acceptance date

14/11/2021

Publication date

2021-12-10

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0094-8276

eISSN

1944-8007

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Qiuhua Liang. Deposit date: 17 January 2022

Article number

e2021GL095795