A SUSPENDED SEDIMENT BUDGET OF THE YICHANG-WUHAN REACH OF THE YANGTZE RIVER, CHINA

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

The amount of the sediment deposition in the Yichan-Wuhan reach of the middle Yangtze River (also known as Changjiang River) has been determined using the concept of sediment budget at the channel-reach scale. The fill-scour processes of the middle Yangtze River were studied during the period 1956–1997 in response to the variation in sediment load and flow inputs. The results show that 13.3% of the net input of sediment was deposited in the studied river reach. Since 1956, the output sediment load of the studied reach increased with time to 1981, followed by a decline. The increase in output before 1981 can be related to the man-made bend neck-cutoff which caused a decrease in the sediment load diverted through the ‘three outfalls’ (i.e. the three distributaries from the Yangtze main stem to the Dongting Lake) and increased the sediment-carrying capacity of the river. Thereby, the river could transport more sediment to the outlet of the studied river reach. The decrease in the sediment load output after 1984 was directly due to the decreased sediment load at Yichang station. Multiple regression equations have been established to assess the contributions of influencing factors to the variation in sediment deposition amount in the studied river reach.

Keywords: Yangtze River; channel sediment budget; environmental change; scour-fill behaviour; sediment deposition

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2008.00156.x

Affiliations: Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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