05 Aug 2021
05 Aug 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Evaporation, infiltration and storage of soil water in different vegetation zones in Qilian mountains: From an perspective of stable isotopes

Guofeng Zhu1,2, Leilei Yong1,2, Zhao Xi1,2, Yuwei Liu1,2, Zhuanxia Zhang1,2, Yuanxiao Xu1,2, Zhigang Sun1,2, Liyuan Sang1,2, and Lei Wang1,2 Guofeng Zhu et al.
  • 1College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • 2Shiyang River Ecological Environment Observation Station, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China

Abstract. In arid areas, almost all the water resources in the basin come from mountainous areas. Nvertheless, the process of water storage and runoff generation has not been fully understood in different vegetation zones in mountainous areas, which is the main obstacle blocking human cognition of hydrological processes and water resources assessment. In current study, the spatiotemporal dynamics of stable isotopes were monitored in different water bodies and soil water storage in different vegetation zones in the upper reaches of Xiying River. The results show that: (1) The water storage capacity of surface soil was weak in vegetation zones, and soil water was mainly saved up in the middle and lower soil layers. (2) Surface and subsurface runoff could form in the Alpine Meadow and Coniferous Forest during the rainy season and the snow melting season. The lower elevation vegetation zones of Mountain Grassland and Deciduous forest evaporate strongly and infiltrate partially into the middle and bottom layers of the soil to store or recharge groundwater, rarely generating surface runoff. This work would provide a scientific foundation for reasonably explaining the mechanism of water production in mountainous areas of arid regions, and provide a reference for formulating management policies suitable for sustainable development of water resources and improving the ability to cope with climate change in arid areas.

Guofeng Zhu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-376', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-376', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Nov 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2021-376', Anonymous Referee #3, 27 Nov 2021

Guofeng Zhu et al.

Guofeng Zhu et al.


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Short summary
In arid areas, the processes of water storage and runoff generation have not been fully understood in different vegetation zones in mountainous. We monitored the stable isotope and soil water storage in the four vegetation zones of the Xiying River. The water storage capacity was weak in the four vegetation zones. Evaporation and precipitation were the decisive factors of soil drought and rewetting processes. The processes of runoff generation in different vegetation zones are different.