›› 2014, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (1): 129-142.doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1077-3

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Suspended sediment load in the turbidity maximum zone at the Yangtze River Estuary:The trends and causes

YANG Yunping, LI Yitian, SUN Zhaohua, FAN Yongyang   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2013-08-30 Revised:2013-09-20 Online:2014-02-15 Published:2014-02-15
  • About author:Yang Yunping(1985-), PhD Candidate, specialized in estuary and coastal evolution and causes. E-mail:yangsan520_521@163.com
  • Supported by:

    Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, No.2010CB429002


Based on the analysis of suspended sediment elements at estuaries, influence of human activities and estuarine regulation projects on the turbidity maximum zone was studied according to the measurement data between 1959 and 2011. It was found that human activities had little effect on the seaward water while the sharp decrease of sediment volume and concentration in runoff led to the sharp decrease of turbidity maximum zone in the estuary. The concentration at outside sea and Hangzhou Bay did not change, and that along the Subei coast also decreased a little, which had no influence on the turbidity maximum zone. Compared with the concentration between 1959 and 1999, the peak of concentration moved upstream in the estuary, and the concentration in 2000-2009 decreased by about 24.73% with a narrower variation range along the river to the sea. The suspended sediment concentration in North Passage was low in upstream and downstream because of the decrease of seaward sediment and coarsening of bed material, while it was relatively high in the middle due to the influence of sediment cross the north jetty.

Key words: turbidity maximum zone (TMZ), suspended sediment concentration, trends and causes, Yangtze River estuary