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Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, Vol. 28 Issue (5) : 629-646     DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1495-8
Research Articles |
Immediately downstream effects of Three Gorges Dam on channel sandbars morphodynamics between Yichang-Chenglingji Reach of the Changjiang River, China
WANG Jie1,,MEI Xuefei1,LOU Yaying1,WEI Wen1,GE Zhenpeng1
1. State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
2. Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266061, China
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Abstract  

Sandbars are of vital ecological and environmental significance, which however, have been intensively influenced by human activities. Morphodynamic processes of sandbars along the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach of the Changjiang River, the channel immediately downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), are assessed based on remote sensing images between 2000 and 2016. It can be found that the entire area of sandbars reduces drastically by 19.23% from 149.04 km2 in 2003 to 120.38 km2 in 2016, accompanied with an increase in water surface width. Owing to differences in sediment grain size and anti-erosion capacity, sandbar area in the upstream sandy gravel reach (Yichang-Dabujie) and downstream sandy reach (Dabujie-Chenglingji) respectively decreases by 45.94% (from 20.79 km2 to 11.24 km2) and 14.93% (from 128.30 km2 to 109.14 km2). Furtherly, morphological evolutions of sandbars are affected by channel type: in straight-microbend channel, mid-channel sandbars exhibit downstream moving while maintaining the basic profile; in meandering channel, point sandbars show erosion and deposition in convex and concave bank respectively, with mid-channel sandbars distributing sporadically; in bending-branching channel, point sandbars experience erosion and move downstream while mid-channel sandbars show erosion in the head part along with retreating outline. We document that the primary mechanism of sandbars shrinkages along the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach can be attributed to TGD induced suspended sediment concentration decreasing and increasing in unsaturation of sediment carrying capacity. Additionally, channel type can affect the morphological evolution of sandbars. Along the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach, sandbars in straight-microbend channel are more affected by water flow than that in bending-branching channel.

Keywords sandbars morphodynamics      Three Gorges Dam (TGD)      remote sensing images      Yichang-Chenglingji Reach      Changjiang River     
Fund:National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41576087;National Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China, No.41706093;Fund of the Key Laboratory of Coastal Science and Engineering, Beibu Gulf, Guangxi, No.2016ZZD01
Issue Date: 31 March 2018
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WANG Jie
MEI Xuefei
LOU Yaying
WEI Wen
GE Zhenpeng
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WANG Jie,MEI Xuefei,LOU Yaying, et al. Immediately downstream effects of Three Gorges Dam on channel sandbars morphodynamics between Yichang-Chenglingji Reach of the Changjiang River, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(5): 629-646.
URL:  
http://www.geogsci.com/EN/10.1007/s11442-018-1495-8     OR     http://www.geogsci.com/EN/Y2018/V28/I5/629
Figure 1  Map of the study area. (a) The location of Changjiang River and Yichang-Chenglingji Reach (blue box); (b) the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach. Four inserted satellite images indicate TGD and three typical sandbars are acquired from Google Earth map (http://www.google.cn/maps)
Date Sensor Yichang Zhicheng Shashi Jianli
Feb. 01, 2000 Landsat7 ETM+ 39.53 37.65 31.70 24.21
Jan. 10, 2001 Landsat5 TM 40.15 38.20 32.79 25.13
Jan. 05, 2002 Landsat7 ETM+ 39.68 38.80 32.22 24.74
Mar. 21, 2003 Landsat5 TM 38.92 37.45 31.24 25.72
Mar. 07, 2004 Landsat5 TM 40.49 38.66 32.96 25.82
Feb. 22, 2005 Landsat5 TM 38.63 37.42 30.86 26.07
Feb. 25, 2006 Landsat5 TM 40.15 38.26 32.20 25.57
Feb. 12,2007 Landsat5 TM 39.01 37.62 30.78 24.37
Feb. 15, 2008 Landsat5 TM 39.02 37.73 31.16 24.60
Jan. 16, 2009 Landsat5 TM 39.35 37.98 31.72 24.93
Feb. 20, 2010 Landsat5 TM 39.31 37.88 31.31 24.98
Jan. 06, 2011 Landsat5 TM 39.73 38.20 31.82 25.62
Jan. 14, 2014 Landsat8 OLI 39.85 38.08 31.62 25.38
Jan. 01, 2015 Landsat8 OLI 39.63 37.97 31.56 25.50
Feb. 05, 2016 Landsat8 OLI 39.99 38.16 31.34 26.30
Table 1  Summary of Landsat satellite products and corresponding water level (m) at four hydrologic stations
Figure 2  Temporal variation of sandbar area within Yichang-Chenglingji Reach from 2003 to 2016. (a) ST: total sandbars; (b) SMC: mid-channel sandbars; and (c) SP: point sandbars. The year with grey rectangle indicating data missing
Figure 3  Temporal variation of sandbar area in (a-c) the upstream sandy gravel reach and (e-f) the downstream sandy reach, with ST, SMC, and SP respectively indicating areas of total sandbars, mid-channel sandbars and point sandbars. The year with grey rectangle indicating data missing
Figure 4  Temporal variation of the total water surface width (TWSW) of (a) the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach (LT); (b) the upstream sandy gravel reach (LSG); and (c) the downstream sandy reach (LS). The year with grey rectangle indicating data missing
Area of total (km2) Area of mid-channel (km2) Area of point (km2)
Reach Whole Sandy gravel Sandy Whole Sandy gravel Sandy Whole Sandy gravel Sandy
Before TGD 145.35 20.45 126.75 38.93 10.73 26.31 106.42 10.08 100.45
After TGD 132.66 12.55 107.14 35.93 7.79 25.07 96.73 4.77 82.06
Decrease (%) 8.73 38.65 15.47 7.72 24.86 4.69 9.10 52.84 18.31
Table 2  Summary of sandbar area variation within the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach
Total reach (km) Sandy gravel reach (km) Sandy reach (km)
Before TGD 479.90 143.48 336.42
After TGD 501.51 152.98 348.53
Increase (%) 4.50 6.62 3.60
Table 3  Summary of channel width variation within the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach
Figure 5  Sandbars geomorphological changes within Guanzhou Channel from 2003 to 2016
Figure 6  Sandbars geomorphological changes within Lujiahe Channel from 2003 to 2016
Figure 7  Geomorphological changes of sandbars within Zhougongdi Channel from 2003 to 2016
Figure 8  Geomorphological changes of sandbars within Tiaoguan Channel from 2003 to 2016
  
Figure 10  Temporal variation of (a) annual water discharge; (b) SSC; and (c) suspended sediment median diameter (D50) at four hydrological stations of Yichang, Zhicheng, Shashi, and Jianli
Figure 11  Relationship between flow discharge and (a) flow velocity; (b) water depth and (c) SSC
Figure 12  Temporal variation of (a-c) calculated sediment carrying capacity (Svm) and (d-e) the difference between calculated SCC and SSC (Svm-SSC) under different water discharge scenarios, with (a, d) 5000 m3/s; (b, e) 10000 m3/s; (c, f) 20000 m3/s
Figure 13  Relationship between sandbar area and Svm-SSC value under different water discharges scenarios: (a) 5000 m3/s; (b) 10000 m3/s; (c) 20000 m3/s
Figure 14  Evolution model of sandbars in different channel types along the Yichang-Chenglingji Reach following the impact of TGD: (a) straight-microbend channel; (b) meandering channel; and (c) bending-branching channel
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