Impact of climate change and human activities on streamflow variations based on the budyko framework

Chung Hsun Lee, Hsin Fu Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, the influence of climate change and human activity on the global environment have become a concern. It is essential to better understand the hydrologic environment to evaluate water availability and related issues. In this study, we perform a trend and breakpoint analysis on streamflow time series in the Lanyang, Keelung, Dahan, Fengshan, Youluo and Shangping River Basins in northern Taiwan. Furthermore, we apply the Budyko-Fu equation and the Budyko-Mezentsev-Choudhury-Yang equation to evaluate the elasticity of streamflow with respect to climate factors and the catchment characteristics parameter. We discuss the sensitivity of streamflow to climate factors (precipitation and potential evapotranspiration), as well as sensitivity to human activities such as land use changes. We detected breakpoints in the streamflow time series for the Lanyang and Keelung rivers in in 1993 and 1990, respectively. The streamflow of Lanyang River increased by 32.50% during the variation period (1993-2017), with 109.00% of the variation caused by non-climate factors. The Keelung River's streamflow was reduced by 18.11% during the variation period (1990-2017), and the dominant factor was climate change, accounting for 71.53% of the reduction. Sensitivity analysis showed that precipitation changes were the most sensitive factor of streamflow variation. For every 1% increase in precipitation, the streamflow would increase by 1.05% to 1.37%. These results could serve as a reference for the sustainable development of water resources and territorial policies in northern Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2001
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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