EGU2020-5867, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Characterization of Interannual and Seasonal Variability of Hydro-Climatic Trends in the Upper Indus Basin

Muhammad Usman Liaqat, Roberto Ranzi, Giovanna Grossi, and Talha Mahmood
Muhammad Usman Liaqat et al.
  • University of Brescia, Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics, Italy (

A major part of Pakistan’s economy is dependent upon agriculture which is irrigated from the water resources of the Upper Indus Basin (UIB). Therefore the human impact of hydroclimatic variability in this area is of paramount importance. The Upper Indus Basin is characterized by uncertain hydro-climatic behaviour with changing patterns in different sub-basins. Many studies have worked on hydro-climatic trends at basin scale but only few studies focused on the hydroclimate, precipitation dynamics and their magnitude at sub-basin level. Based upon this scenario, high resolution seasonal and annual climatology of UIB was developed. It is based on precipitation normals 1995-2017 obtained from four different gridded satellite datasets (Aphrodite, Chirps, PERSIANN-CDR and GPCC) as well as quality- controlled high and mid elevation ground observations (1250–4500 m a.s.l.). The quality-control of the gridded dataset is computed by the anomaly method. In order to, evaluate the data quality of the gridded rainfall, four statistics i.e., BIAS, Mean Absolute Error (MAE), Mean Absolute Percentage Error (MAPE) and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) are used in this study. Using running trends and spectral analysis with multi-gauge based anomaly, the study analyses the precipitation and runoff   seasonal and annual temporal variability at sub-basin scale. For this, Mann–Kendall test was employed to detect the presence of any trend while their slope is calculated by Theil Sen’s slope method. The nonparametric Pettitt Test was also used in this study to eventually identify the change point in hydro-climatic time series. The results indicated that bias corrected CHIRPS precipitation datasets performed better in simulating precipitation with RMSE, MAE, MAPE [%] and BIAS followed by APHRODITE. The annual and seasonal precipitation climatology exhibited higher precipitation in the lower side of the basin. The comparison between short and long duration climatologies is being investigated as well. The annual running trend analysis of precipitation exhibited a very slight change whereas a more significant increase was found in the winter season (DJF) and most of sub-basins feature a significant decreasing rate in precipitation and constant change point within the monsoon period (JJA). Similarly, trend analysis for runoff in main rivers of Upper Indus Basin at Gilgat, Indus (Besham Qila, Bunji) exhibit nonsignificant increase except Hunza and Indus at Kharmong which are showed decrease annual trends and will be further investigated for seasonal patterns. Overall, these findings would assist to better understand precipitation, snow- and ice-melt runoff dynamics, addressing the hydroclimatic behaviour of the Karakoram region.

How to cite: Liaqat, M. U., Ranzi, R., Grossi, G., and Mahmood, T.: Characterization of Interannual and Seasonal Variability of Hydro-Climatic Trends in the Upper Indus Basin , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5867,, 2020


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