Constructing dataset of classified drainage areas based on surface water-supply patterns in High Mountain Asia

Jieyu Lu, Yubao Qiu*, Xingxing Wang, Wenshan Liang, Pengfei Xie, Lijuan Shi, Massimo Menenti, Dongshui Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The High Mountain Asia (HMA) region, ranging from the Hindu Kush and Tien Shan in the west to the Himalaya in the south with an altitude between 2000 and 8844 m, holds the largest reservoir of glaciers and snow outside Earth Polar Regions. In the last decades, numerous glaciers and lake areas there have undergone tremendous changes with water redistribution. In order to increase understanding of the pattern of distribution of water resources, and their dynamic changes at the basin scale, a watershed classification based on the water replenishment patterns dataset was constructed. The input dataset are from the Randolph Glacier Inventory V.6.0 and the vector data of rivers and streams. Four datasets were thus obtained: Glacier-fed and Runoff-fed Drainage Area (GRDA), Glacier-fed and Runoff-free Drainage Area (GDA), Glacier-free and Runoff-fed Drainage Area (RDA), and the Glacier-free and Runoff-free Drainage Area (NGRDA), and the numbers of these four types of basins are 87, 107, 32, and 448 separately. The statistical results show GRDA has the largest surface area, accounting for 82.2% of the total basin area in HMA, mainly in the region of the basin with outflow rivers or streams. Dominated by small basins, the GDA area accounts for the smallest area, only 3.86% and the RDA accounts for 5.62%. For NGRDA, most are with small areas, accounting for 8.32%, and mainly distributes in the closed basin of the Qiangtang Plateau. This dataset provides a fundamental classified data source for research on water resources, climate, ecology, and environment in HMA. The published data are available at and

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-241
Number of pages17
JournalBig Earth Data
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • glacial recharge
  • High Mountain Asia
  • surface water system
  • water resources
  • watershed classification


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