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Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, Vol. 28 Issue (12) : 1975-1993     DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1575-9
Research Articles |
The relationship between water level change and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam
YANG Yunping1,2(),ZHANG Mingjin2,SUN Zhaohua1,HAN Jianqiao3,*(),Wang Jianjun2
1. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2. Key Laboratory of Engineering Sediment, Tianjin Research Institute for Water Transport Engineering, Ministry of Transport, Tianjin 300456, China
3. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
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Abstract  

In this study, data measured from 1955-2016 were analysed to study the relationship between the water level and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) after the impoundment of the dam. The results highlight the following facts: (1) for the same flow, the low water level decreased, flood water level changed little, lowest water level increased, and highest water level decreased at the hydrological stations in the downstream of the dam; (2) the distribution of erosion and deposition along the river channel changed from “erosion at channels and deposition at bankfulls” to “erosion at both channels and bankfulls;” the ratio of low-water channel erosion to bankfull channel erosion was 95.5% from October 2002 to October 2015, with variations between different impoundment stages; (3) the low water level decrease slowed down during the channel erosion in the Upper Jingjiang reach and reaches upstream but sped up in the Lower Jingjiang reach and reaches downstream; measures should be taken to prevent the decrease in the channel water level; (4) erosion was the basis for channel dimension upscaling in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River; the low water level decrease was smaller than the thalweg decline; both channel water depth and width increased under the combined effects of channel and waterway regulations; and (5) the geometry of the channels above bankfulls did not significantly change; however, the comprehensive channel resistance increased under the combined effects of riverbed coarsening, beach vegetation, and human activities; as a result, the flood water level increased markedly and moderate flood to high water level phenomena occurred, which should be considered. The Three Gorges Reservoir effectively enhances the flood defense capacity of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River; however, the superposition effect of tributary floods cannot be ruled out.

Keywords low water level      flood water level      riverbed adjustment      cause analysis      Three Gorges Dam      middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River     
Fund:National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFC0402106; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.51579123, No.51579185, No.51339001; Supported by the Open Research Fund Program of State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, No.2016HLG02; Fundamental Research Funds for Central Welfare Research Institutes, No.TKS160103
Corresponding Authors: HAN Jianqiao     E-mail: yangsan520_521@163.com;hjq13@163.com
Issue Date: 27 December 2018
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YANG Yunping
ZHANG Mingjin
SUN Zhaohua
HAN Jianqiao
Wang Jianjun
Cite this article:   
YANG Yunping,ZHANG Mingjin,SUN Zhaohua, et al. The relationship between water level change and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(12): 1975-1993.
URL:  
http://www.geogsci.com/EN/10.1007/s11442-018-1575-9     OR     http://www.geogsci.com/EN/Y2018/V28/I12/1975
Figure 1  Schematic of the river sections in the downstream of the TGR
Hydrological station and reach Content Period Source
Yichang, Zhicheng, Shashi, Jianli, Hankou, Datong Water, sediment, flow, water level 1955-2016 Yangtze River Middle and
Lower Reaches Hydrological Yearbook
Songzikou, Taipingkou,
Ouchikou, Chenglingji, Hukou, Huangzhuang
Water, sediment, flow
Yichang-Hukou Reach Amount of river sediment 1987-2015
Yichang-Hukou Reach Water level stations 1981-2014 Changjiang Waterway
Planning Design and Research
Institute
Yichang-Yangtze Estuary Depth and width of the shipping channel 2002 and 2015
Table 1  Sediment source and hydrological data of the downstream of the TGD
Figure 2  Changes of discharge and flux in the downstream of the TGD
Figure 3  Relationship between the flow and water level in the lower reaches of the TGD
Figure 4  Minimum water level at the downstream hydrological station of the TGD
Figure 5  Maximum water level in the downstream hydrological station of the TGD
Figure 6  Erosion and deposition changes in the channels of the Yichang-Hukou reaches (The flow rates corresponding to the low-water channel, typical channel, and flood plain channel in the figure are 5000 m3/s, 10,000 m3/s, and 30,000 m3/s, respectively, as measured at the Yichang Station.)
Period of time Reach YZR UJR LJR CHR HHR
Extent (km) 60.8 171.7 175.5 251.0 295.4
1981 to 2002 Low-water channel (%) 102.0 100.6 9.2 17.5 69.6
Low beach (%) -2.0 -0.6 -109.2 -117.5 -169.6
High beach (%)
October 2002 to October 2008 Low-water channel (%) 88.6 89.6 73.2 301.8 60.4
Low beach (%) 1.7 2.2 11.6 -30.7 48.3
High beach (%) 9.6 8.2 15.2 -171.1 -8.7
October 2008 to November 2015 Low-water channel (%) 96.4 94.0 95.4 95.3 115.0
Low beach (%) 4.8 3.1 -0.4 5.8 -11.4
High beach (%) -1.1 2.9 5.0 -1.1 -3.6
Table 2  Erosion and deposition proportion changes in the Yichang-Hukou reaches
Figure 7  Relationship between the siltation/scouring of the channel and low water level
Figure 8  Process of water level decline in the Yichang-Hankou reaches
Figure 9  Amount of dry riverbed and the relationship between the Yichang-Hukou reaches
Figure 10  Sedimentation in the Dongting and Poyang lakes
Riverbed composition Gravel and pebble river Sandy river
Reach Yichang-Zhicheng Zhicheng-Dabujie UJR Chengjlingji-Hukou
Increasing amplitude (%) 91 65 3 2
Table 3  Roughness change due to riverbed coarsening (Han, 2015)
Figure 11  Regulatory effect of the TGR and change of the flow days
Figure 12  Flood control losses in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River
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