Gravimetry-based water storage shifting over the China-India border area controlled by regional climate variability

Kwok Pan Chun*, Qing He, Hok Sum Fok, Subimal Ghosh, Omer Yetemen, Qiang Chen, Ana Mijic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The regional water storage shifting causes nonstationary spatial distribution of droughts and flooding, leading to water management challenges, environmental degradation and economic losses. The regional water storage shifting is becoming evident due to the increasing climate variability. However, the previous studies for climate drivers behind the water storage shifting are not rigorously quantified. In this study, the terrestrial water storage (TWS) spatial shifting pattern during 2002–2017 over the China-India border area (CIBA) is developed using the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), suggesting that the Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra basin (IGBB) was wetting while the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) was drying. Similar drying and wetting patterns were also found in the precipitation, snow depth, Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) and potential evaporation data. Based on our newly proposed Indian monsoon (IM) and western North Pacific monsoon (WNPM) variation indices, the water shifting pattern over the CIBA was found to be affected by the weakening of the variation of IM and WNPM through modulating the regional atmospheric circulation. The weakening of IM and WNPM variations has shown to be attributed to the decreasing temperature gradient between the CIBA and the Indian Ocean, and possibly related to increasing regional temperatures associated with the increasing global temperature. As the global warming intensifies, it is expected that the regional TWS shifting pattern over the CIBA will be further exaggerated, stressing the need of advancing water resources management for local communities in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136360
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.


This research was funded by the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty research Fund ( FRG1/1617/005 , FRG2/1617/082 , FRG2/1516/085 ), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 41974003 , 41674007 ), and The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) 2232 grant ( 118C329 ). This research was conducted using the resources of the High Performance Cluster Computing Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, which receives funding from Research Grant Council, University Grant Committee of the HKSAR and Hong Kong Baptist University. The datasets used in this study are publicly available, and the corresponding URLs are provided in the Section 2 and Multiple Media Compoents.

FundersFunder number
Cluster Computing Centre
Hong Kong Baptist UniversityFRG1/1617/005, FRG2/1617/082, FRG2/1516/085
National Natural Science Foundation of China41674007, 41974003
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştirma Kurumu


    • China-India border area
    • Climate variability
    • Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
    • Water storage shifting


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