The potential to reconstruct Manasi River streamflow in the Northern Tien Shan Mountains (NW China)

Yujiang Yuan, Xuemei Shao, Wenshou Wei, Shulong Yu, Yuan Gong, Valerie Trouet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We present a tree-ring based reconstruction of water-year (October-September) streamflow for the Manasi River in the northern Tien Shan mountains in northwestern China. We developed eight Tien Shan spruce (Picea schrenkiana Fisch, et Mey.) chronologies for this purpose, which showed a common climatic signal. The hydroclimatic forcing driving tree growth variability affected streamflow with a three- to four-year lag. The model used to estimate streamflow is based on the average of three chronologies and reflects the autoregressive structure of the streamflow time series. The model explains 51% of variance in the instrumental data and allowed us to reconstruct streamflow for the period 1629-2000. This preliminary reconstruction could serve as a basis for providing a longer context for evaluating the recent (1995-2000) increasing trends in Manasi River streamflow and enables the detection of sustained periods of drought and flood, which are particularly challenging for managing water systems. Several of the reconstructed extended dry (wet) periods of the Manasi River correspond to reconstructed periods of drought (flood) in Central Asia in general and in other Tien Shan mountain locations in particular, suggesting that the analysis of Tien Shan spruce could contribute significantly to the development of regionally explicit streamflow reconstructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalTree-Ring Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Manasi River
  • Northwestern China
  • Picea schrenkiana
  • Streamflow reconstruction
  • Tien Shan Mountains
  • Tree-ring chronology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Palaeontology


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