Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-480
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-480

  16 Dec 2020

16 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Moisture sources contribute to precipitation change in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region during 1979–2015

Ying Li1, Chenghao Wang2, Hui Peng1, Shangbin Xiao1, and Denghua Yan3 Ying Li et al.
  • 1College of Hydraulic & Environmental Engineering, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, 443002, China
  • 2Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Water Resources Department, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), Beijing, 100038, China

Abstract. Precipitation change in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) plays a critical role in the operation and regulation of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) as well as the protection of residents and properties. The potential impacts of the TGD on local and regional circulation patterns, especially the precipitation patterns, have received considerable attention since its construction. However, how the moisture transport affects the precipitation change in the TGRR spatially and temporally remains obscure. In this study, we investigate the long-term moisture sources of precipitation as well as their contributions to the precipitation change over the TGRR using an atmospheric moisture tracking model. Results suggest that although with seasonal variation, the moisture contributing to the TGRR precipitation primarily originate from the areas southwest of the TGRR dominated by the Indian summer monsoon. In particular, the sources with the highest annual moisture contribution are the southwestern part of the Yangtze River Basin and the southeastern tip of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). On average, 41 %, 56 %, and 3 % of the TGRR precipitation originate from ocean, land, and local recycling, respectively. In addition, the decreased precipitation over the TGRR during 1979–2015 is mainly attributed to the significantly decreased moisture contribution from the source regions southwest of the TGRR (especially around the southeastern tip of the TP). Compared to dry years, the higher precipitation in the TGRR during wet years is contributed by the extra moisture from the southwestern source regions delivered by the intensified southwesterly monsoon winds.

Ying Li et al.

 
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Ying Li et al.

Ying Li et al.

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Short summary
The Three Gorges Project is the world’s largest hydropower project, precipitation change in the reservoir region plays a critical role in the operation and regulation of the dam as well as the protection of residents and properties. We investigated the long-term moisture sources contribute to precipitation change in the region, and identified regions southwest of the reservoir (especially the southeastern Tibetan Plateau) to be the key regions that control precipitation change in the reservoir.