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SUSTech’s Zheng Chunmiao Published in Top Earth Sciece Journal for Revealing Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Groundwater Control Factors

Aug 5, 2017 Research

 Recently, Professor Zheng Chunmiao from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of SUSTech published a new study entitled "What controls the partitioning between baseflow and mountain block recharge in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau?", which was published by the Geophysical Research Letters, a top journal in the field of earth sciences.

         The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, unofficially referred to as the "Asian Water Tower", plays a vital role in the water supply and ecosystem health in its lower reaches. The groundwater system is a key component of the hydrological cycle. However, due to the extreme climate, the complex terrain and the difficult data acquisition, the groundwater becomes more difficult to access, and studying the ecological hydrological processes and the climate change response in mountainous areas is increasingly challenging, particularly the lateral flow of mountainous areas is the quantified watershed scale water balance.


         Professor Zheng selected a team to establish a regional three-dimensional groundwater numerical model in the Qilian Mountains in the northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for the first time. The model was calibrated using the base flow of years of flow inversion to simulate the regional groundwater flow field and further quantify the groundwater recharge and the ratio of the base flow to the lateral flow of the mountain. In the simulation process, the stratigraphic permeability attenuation model was tested, and the application range of the theoretical model in the actual watershed was systematically evaluated. The results provide important contributions to the quantification of groundwater in mountainous areas with complex terrain and river networks and the sustainable management of oasis water resources in the middle and lower reaches.

         The work on arid zone ecological hydrological research team is another important achievement by Professor Zheng, and his first author director Yao Yingying (now a postdoctoral at the National University of Singapore). The study was supported as an integrated project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) major “Heihe River Basin Ecology - Hydrology Process Integration Research" project.

         Topographic Geomorphology and Three - dimensional Groundwater Numerical Model in the Qilian Mountains in the North of the Qinghai - Tibet Plateau

The link to the paper:


Contribution: Department of Environmental Science and Engineering

Edited by: Jeremy Welburn

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