Assessment of drought vulnerability of the Tarim River basin, Xinjiang, China

Qiang Zhang*, Peng Sun, Jianfeng LI, Mingzhong Xiao, Vijay P. Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


The Tarim River basin is dominated by arid climate, and agriculture plays a key role in the regional socioeconomic development. The basin is subjected to frequent droughts which are a common natural hazard. Based on Standardized Precipitation Index at 3-, 6-, and 12-month timescales, drought hazard index and composite drought vulnerability indices, drought risk and drought vulnerability are evaluated. Results indicate that (1) drought hazard is higher in northern and eastern parts of the Tarim River basin at 3- and 6-month timescales, while it is high in central and northwestern parts at a 12-month timescale and (2) drought vulnerability is higher in northwestern and southwestern parts of the basin, and the highest drought vulnerability is identified in the southwestern part. Results also indicate significant relations between drought vulnerability and the percentage of farmers, dependency ratio, and the percentage of drought-induced agricultural loss. Results of this study can be useful for drought hazard mitigation as well as for planning and management of agricultural activities and agricultural irrigation in the Tarim River basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalTheoretical and Applied Climatology
Early online date3 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

User-Defined Keywords

  • Standardize Precipitation Index
  • Dependency Ratio
  • Meteorological Drought
  • Drought Risk
  • Tarim River Basin


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