Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2014, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (4): 717-730.doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1115-1

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Sediment variability and transport in the littoral area of the abandoned Yellow River Delta, northern Jiangsu

Lin ZHANG1(), Shenliang CHEN1,*(), Shunqi PAN2, Liang YI3, Chao JIANG1   

  1. 1. State Key Lab of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Engineering, Cardiff University, Cardiff, CF24 2AA, UK
    3. Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2013-07-09 Accepted:2013-12-18 Online:2014-04-20 Published:2014-04-20
  • Contact: Shenliang CHEN;
  • About author:

    Author: Zhang Lin (1982-), PhD Candidate, specialized in marine geology and sedimentary dynamics. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Special Funding of Global Change Research Major Scientific Research Plan Project, No.2010CB951202.State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, ECNU, No.SKLEC-2012KYYW06


The delta evolution and erosion process of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AYRD) have been extensively studied. However, the variation of sediment at a large littoral scale along the north coast of Jiangsu is less understood. In this study, the data of surface sediment samples obtained in the littoral area of the Yellow River Delta in 2006 and 2012 is used to study the sediment variability and sediment transport trends by using the geostatistics analysis tool and the grain size trend analysis model. In order to ensure the applicability of the model, the geostatistics method is used to determine the characteristic distance (Dc) with the average range value (Ao) of grain size parameter. Filtering method (removing data that not at a sampling station) is used to improve accuracy of data selection. The results show that sedimentary spatial correlation in Lianyun Port area and southern part of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AS) is better than that in the northern part of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AN). Sediment in the area is found to be anisotropy at the northeast-southeast direction. The grain size trend analysis reveals that the sediment trend is towards bayhead and southerly in the Haizhou Bay, southeasterly along the shoreline in the south Lianyun Port, northwesterly in AN and easterly-southeasterly in AS respectively. The investigation of possible relationships between Dc, Ao, sediment transport and delta evolution shows a close link between Dc and Ao of one sediment combination. It is also found that sediment transport trends could reasonably represent the delta evolution to a certain degree.

Key words: sediment variability, sediment transport, geostatistics analysis, grain size parameters, abandoned Yellow River Delta