标题：What Is the Threshold Elevation at Which Climatic Factors Determine Snow Cover Variability? A Case Study of the Keriya River Basin
作者：Yan Wei, Wang Yifan, Ma Xiaofei, Tan Yaogeng, Yan Junhui, Liu Minghua, Liu Sutao
摘要：Climate and topography are pivotal factors influencing snow cover variation, highlighting the significance of investigating the altitudinal response of snow cover to climate change. This study adopted a new MODIS snow cover extent product over China, reanalysis climate data, and digital elevation model (DEM) data to analyze the variation characteristics of snow cover frequency (SCF) and climatic factors with elevation in the Keriya River Basin (KRB) during the hydrological years from 2000 to 2020. The Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) method was utilized to explore the elevation-based relationships between SCF and climatic factors. Our findings can be summarized as follows: (1) The SCF exhibited an “increasing–decreasing–increasing–decreasing” pattern intra-annually, with insignificant monthly inter-annual variations. Only November, January, April, and May demonstrated upward trends, whereas October and December remained relatively stable, and other months exhibited declines. (2) Vertical variations in SCF and climatic factors revealed fluctuating upward trends in SCF and wind speed. On the other hand, the air temperature consistently decreased at a lapse rate ranging from 0.60 to 0.85 °C/100 m. Precipitation demonstrated “rising–falling” or “rapidly rising–slowly rising” patterns, bounded by 3821 m (range 3474–4576 m). (3) A new decision scheme, which took into account the alteration of the primary SCF controlling factors and shifts between positive and negative impacts caused by these factors, was used to determine five threshold elevation zones: 2585 m (range 2426–2723 m), 3447 m (range 3125–3774 m), 4251 m (range 4126–4375 m), 5256 m (range 4975–5524 m), and 5992 m (range 5874–6425 m). These threshold elevation zones were evident in spring, with four of these appearing in autumn (excluding 4251 m) and summer (excluding 2585 m). Only two threshold elevation zones were observed in winter with elevation values of 3447 m and 5992 m, respectively. Our findings are crucial for a deeper understanding of snow cover variation patterns at different elevations and offer essential insights for the responsible management of regional water resources.
关键词：climatic factors; Keriya River Basin; partial least squares regression; snow cover; threshold elevation; trend tests