Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes

The Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Chinese Academy of Sciences was officially established in 1999, from the research groups including Land Surface Hydrology and Geomorphology of the former Institute of Geography (IOG), Water Resources Research of the former Commission for Integrated Survey of Natural Resources (CISNR) It has 5 main research fields: water energy flux processes in SVAT systems, soil water erosion processes, sedimentation processes in aqua-systems, basin hydrologic cycle processes and coupled water-cycle and land-surface processes.

The laboratoray has more than 73 staff members, with one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and 27 professors. The laboratory is well-equipped with up-to-date instrumentations, such as isotopic mass spectrometer, 13 field experimental stations for hydrologic experimental watersheds, sedimentation and erosion research, water cycle of farmland and hill slopes, and rainfall/runoff simulation, soil erosion and fluvial geomorphologic simulation indoor.

Focusing on the important problems in China such as temporally and spatially uneven distributions of precipitations, water resources shortages, frequent occurrences of floods and draughts and severe soil and water loss, the Laboratory devotes its efforts to the studies of the frontier scientific issues associated with land hydrologic cycle and related geographic processes. The laboratory also aims at the national strategic demands by studying the water securities, efficient use of water in agriculture, and ecologic and environmental flows etc.

Academic Objectives
Investigate the dynamic changes in land surface water cycle and the related geographic processes based on the hydrologic processes. with focuses on the scientific issues derived from the national water-related demands in the coming 50 years, such as water resources shortages, flood and draught disasters, environmental changes associated with water. Concentrate mainly on the land hydrologic cycle and the related surface processes such as: water transport processes in SVAT systems, hill slope hydrologic and soil water erosion processes, erosion-transport-deposition processes in fluvial systems, basin hydrologic cycle processes and the inter-linkages of the processes.

Serve as the experimental basis and platform for scientific innovations for better understanding of the scientific mechanisms of the evolution in land hydrological cycle and surface processes under the changing environments. Provide advanced scientific solutions to meet the important demands such as the water security, the sustainable utilization of water resources and the environmental management in the northern regions of China. Target on frontier scientific achievements through systematical researches of applied fundamental sciences, the innovation and development in modern geographical theories in order to become the base of Chinese Academy of Sciences in the surface processes and knowledge innovation and promote a group of leading scientists with national and international influences through training and educational processes.

Research Fields
Investigate the dynamic changes in the water cycle and the related land surface processes based on the land hydrologic processes, with the following research fields: interface processes in SVAT systems, hill slope hydrologic and soil water erosion processes, sedimentation processes in fluvial systems, basin hydrologic cycle processes and the linkages of the processes. Investigate the natural changes in the human-activities and global-changes induced hydrologic cycle and land surface processes through the analysis of monitored and experimental data and numerical simulations on watershed basis, in order to achieve the original and fundamental scientific innovation in geosciences and supply scientific solutions for the national urgent demands such as shortages in water resources, efficient use of water resources in agriculture, water-related issues in ecologic restorations, as well as draught and flood disaster control.

1. SVAT Interface Processes
Investigate the water-energy-mass transportation and interaction processes in soil under different vegetation cover and land use. Establish models for water, heat and solute transport in the SVAT system and the mechanisms of plant transpiration and soil surface evaporation. Provide new concepts and methods for water and nutrient cycles for croplands in order to help efficient water use with targeting to the water security issues in the north regions of China.

2. Hill-slope Soil and Water Transport Processes
Investigate the hill-slope runoff mechanism and the hill-slope erosion evolutionary processes based on laboratory experiments and typical field hill-slope monitoring. Establish the rainfall-runoff models for the semi-arid and arid areas. Study the interactions amongst the vvegetation covers, hill-slope runoff and soil erosion on order to understand the eco-hydrologic impacts.

3. Research Fields – Fluvial Processes
Enrich and improve the theory of hydro-geomorphology through investigating the processes, mechanisms, rate and tendency of water-cycle-driven sediment and solute transport and fluvial landform changes, and their response to the global change and human interference, and the ways to regulate the processes for sustainable development.

4. River Basin Hydrologic Processes
Use new technologies such as isotopic and 3S to investigate the interactions in the rainfall-runoff-soil water-ground water systems; the mechanisms of runoff formation from watersheds and hydrologic responses under the changes in land use and vegetation covers; the driving force for the changes in hydrologic peak; so as to develop the patterns of hydrologic cycles of Chinese geographic characteristics and the theories of geographic hydrologic sciences.

5. Numerical Simulation of the Coupled Basin Hydrologic Cycle and the Land Surface Process
Study the coupled basin hydrologic cycle and land surface processes using numerical simulation methods, in order to understand the responses of hydrologic processes to land use and vegetation change, the interactions of territorial and atmospheric hydrologic cycles, and establish the coupled hydrologic cycle and land surface models.