Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 387-399.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1479-8

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Sediment flux from the Zhoushan Archipelago, eastern China

Gaocong LI1,3(), Shu Gao2(), Yaping WANG1, Chunyan LI3   

  1. 1. Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. State Key Laboratory for Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rough 70803, USA
  • Received:2017-05-09 Accepted:2017-08-25 Online:2018-03-30 Published:2018-03-30
  • About author:

    Author: Li Gaocong (1987-), PhD Candidate, specialized in estuarine and coastal sciences. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Gao Shu (1956-), Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530962, No.41625021;The National Basic Research Program of China, No.2013CB956500;Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, No.BK20130056


Knowledge of the sediment flux derived from different sources is critical for interpreting the sedimentary records associated with large river sedimentary systems. For the Changjiang River system, previous studies hardly focused on the sediment load from the adjacent Zhoushan Archipelago (ZA). Based on four prediction models, aiming to improve the understanding of the sediment load from the ZA during the Holocene, we show that the predicted sediment flux of the ZA ranges from ~0.7 to 26.5 Mt·yr-1, with an average value of 10.7 Mt·yr-1, and the islands with a relatively large area or high relief contribute greatly to the total flux. This sediment load is an order of magnitude lower than that of the Changjiang River, but it is similar to those of the local small rivers. Located in the core area of the southward dispersal path of the Changjiang River plume, the ZA also influences the sediment transport into Hangzhou Bay and over the Zhejiang-Fujian coastal seas. On the Holocene temporal scale, e.g., for the period from 6 ka BP to 2 ka BP, the sediments discharged from the ZA had a considerable effect on the shelf sedimentary system. This study provides evidence for an important role an archipelago can play in terms of sediment supply and transport in coastal and inner continental shelf regions.

Key words: sediment load, sedimentary systems, Holocene, archipelago environment, eastern China