Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (1): 31-48.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0031-2

• Geomorphology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recent geomorphic changes in the Liaohe Estuary

ZHU Longhai1,2, WU Jianzheng1,2, XU Yongchen3, HU Rijun1,2, WANG Nan3   

  1. 1. Key Lab of Submarine Geosciences and Prospecting Techniques, Ministry of Education, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China;
    2. College of Marine Geosciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China;
    3. Engineering Survey and Design &|Development Institute, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
  • Received:2009-05-04 Revised:2009-06-29 Online:2010-02-15 Published:2010-02-15
  • About author:Zhu Longhai (1979–), Ph.D Candidate, specialized in the study of deposition & geomorphology. E-mail:


This paper mainly analyzes the geomorphological changes of the tidal deposition in the Liaohe Estuary based on the multi-year bathymetric charts in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2005 and Landsat TM images in 1987, 1994, 2002 and 2005. Evolution of the tidal depositional system during the past 20 years in the Liaohe River was studied on the basis of 50 boreholes drilling and 30 km shallow stratigraphic exploration from 2002 to 2005. The main tidal depositional body of the modern Liaohe River delta is located in the Shuangtaizihe Estuary. The stratum within the depth of 10 m includes tidal bank facies, tidal channel facies and neritic facies with paleo-delta facies underlying them. The sediments of tidal bank facies are mainly composed of sand and silt with siltation load and suspended load of about 50% respectively in proportion. The sediment of tidal channel facies and neritic facies is composed of clayey silt and silty clay which belongs to suspended load. The study area was a small bay between the old Daliaohe River, the old Dalinghe River and the Raoyanghe River complex delta since the Holocene to 1896. Many tidal banks formed and expanded rapidly after the Shuangtaizihe River was excavated by labor in 1896. The runoff and sediment discharge have decreased since the construction of brake at the Shuangtaizihe River in 1958.The Shuangtaizihe Estuary is in the state of deposition as a whole whose tidal bank is increasing and expanding southward, westward and northward. The maximum expansion speed is 87 to 683 m/a and the mean depositional rate is 0.189 m/a. Erosion occurred in some part of tidal bank with average erosional rate of 0.122 m/a. The tidal channel was filled up with sediment at a migration speed of 48–200 m/a. Geomorphologic changes have happened under the combined influences of runoff, ocean dynamics and human activities. The main source of sediment changes from river sediment to sediment driven by tidal current and longshore current.

Key words: Liaohe River, delta, geomorphology