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A Coupled Modeling Framework of the Co-evolution of Humans and Water: Case Study of Tarim River Basin, Western China : Volume 11, Issue 4 (10/04/2014)

By Liu, D.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012072
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 56
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: A Coupled Modeling Framework of the Co-evolution of Humans and Water: Case Study of Tarim River Basin, Western China : Volume 11, Issue 4 (10/04/2014)  
Author: Liu, D.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 4
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: copernicus


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Sivapalan, M., Tian, F., Lin, M., & Liu, D. (2014). A Coupled Modeling Framework of the Co-evolution of Humans and Water: Case Study of Tarim River Basin, Western China : Volume 11, Issue 4 (10/04/2014). Retrieved from

Description: State Key Laboratory of Eco-Hydraulic Engineering in Shaanxi, School of Water Resources and Hydropower, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an, 710048, China. The complex interactions and feedbacks between humans and water are very essential issues but are poorly understood in the newly proposed discipline of socio-hydrology (Sivapalan et al., 2012). An exploratory model with the appropriate level of simplification can be valuable to improve our understanding of the co-evolution and self-organization of socio-hydrological systems driven by interactions and feedbacks operating at different scales. In this study, a simple coupled modeling framework for socio-hydrology co-evolution is developed for the Tarim River Basin in Western China, and is used to illustrate the explanatory power of such a model. The study area is the mainstream of the Tarim River, which is divided into two modeling units. The socio-hydrological system is composed of four parts, i.e. social sub-system, economic sub-system, ecological sub-system, and hydrological sub-system. In each modeling unit, four coupled ordinary differential equations are used to simulate the dynamics of the social sub-system represented by human population, the economic sub-system represented by irrigated crop area, the ecological sub-system represented by natural vegetation cover and the hydrological sub-system represented by stream discharge. The coupling and feedback processes of the four dominant sub-systems (and correspondingly four state variables) are integrated into several internal system characteristics interactively and jointly determined by themselves and by other coupled systems. For example, the stream discharge is coupled to the irrigated crop area by the colonization rate and mortality rate of the irrigated crop area in the upper reach and the irrigated area is coupled to stream discharge through irrigation water consumption. In a similar way, the stream discharge and natural vegetation cover are coupled together. The irrigated crop area is coupled to human population by the colonization rate and mortality rate of the population. The inflow of the lower reach is determined by the outflow from the upper reach. The natural vegetation cover in the lower reach is coupled to the outflow from the upper reach and governed by regional water resources management policy. The co-evolution of the Tarim socio-hydrological system is then analyzed within this modeling framework to gain insights into the overall system dynamics and its sensitivity to the external drivers and internal system variables. In the modeling framework, the state of each subsystem is holistically described by one state variable and the framework is flexible enough to comprise more processes and constitutive relationships if they are needed to illustrate the interaction and feedback mechanisms of the human–water system.

A coupled modeling framework of the co-evolution of humans and water: case study of Tarim River Basin, western China

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