Based on the author’s practice in river harnessing, this paper defines that a healthy river is a river whose social and natural functions can be balanced or compromised in terms of the socio-economic, ecological and environmental values associated with the river. The environmental values of river systems should be judged according to the following criteria: the signal of a healthy river should be associated with favorable riverbed, acceptable water quality, sustainable river ecosystem and compatible runoff. The river health criterion should reflect the river’s natural function status which includes the riverbed, water quality, river ecosystem and runoff. But, the variety and quantity would be different for different rivers depending on different natural features and social background. The standards to be adopted for a healthy river should be determined according to the requirements for maintaining river’s normal natural functions and the extent whether the social and natural functions could perform in a balanced way, and also the standards adopted should be adjusted according to the change of the given conditions. The key factor of river health is the enough and clean flow. The authors stressed that human activities would hurt the river health which include excessive water diversion and excessive power generation from the river, improper regulation of flood and sediment, and over discharge of sewage into the river and over change in fish habitat. Taking the Yellow River as a case, this paper also discussed the method to identify what are the standards of a healthy river as well as environmental flows.
The relationship between North Atlantic Oscillations (NAO) and Aksu River Runoff (ARR) was investigated by using the wavelet transform (WT), cross wavelet transform (CWT), correlation and linear trend analyses, and abrupt change test. The main results are as follows: the interannual/decadal variation and period analyses of ARR and NAO reveal that the both were close correlated each other; the CWT indicates that the correlation was good between ARR and NAO at all periods in the 1990s, because the significant correlation areas mainly concentrated in the 1990s; the variations in the trend strength of ARR and NAO were consistent; the abrupt change of NAO was also temporally consistent with that of ARR, which exerted impact on the Aksu River Basin (ARB) climate and then the ARR through atmospheric circulation variation.
This paper attempted to identify fractal and chaotic characteristics of the annual runoff processes in headwaters of the Tarim River. Methods of fractal analyses were used to explore several aspects of the temporal changes from 1957 to 2002. The main findings are as follows: (1) The annual runoff processes of the three headwaters of the Tarim River are complex nonlinear systems with fractal as well as chaotic dynamics. (2) The correlation dimensions of attractor derived from the time series of the annual runoff for the Hotan, Yarkand and Aksu rivers are all greater than 3.0 and non-integral, implying that all three rivers are chaotic dynamical systems that are sensitive to initial conditions, and the dynamic modeling of their annual runoff process requires at least four independent variables. (3) The time series of annual runoff in each river presents a long-term correlation characteristic. The Hurst exponent for the period of 1989 to 2002 suggests that we may expect to see an increasing trend in the annual runoff of the Aksu and Yarkand rivers in the years after 2002, but a decreasing tendency for the Hotan River in the same period.
Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of LUCC change with climate and ecosystem simulation, but the result could only be determined precisely if a high-resolution underlying land cover map is used. While the efforts based satellites have provided a good baseline for present land cover, what the next advancement in the research about LUCC change required is the development of reconstruction of historical LUCC change, especially spatially-explicit historical dataset. Being different from other similar studies, this study is based on the analysis of historical land use patterns in the traditional cultivated region of China. Taking no account of the less important factors, altitude, slope and population patterns are selected as the major drivers of reclamation in ancient China, and used to design the HCGM (Historical Cropland Gridding Model, at a 60 km×60 km resolution), which is an empirical model for allocating the historical cropland inventory data spatially to grid cells in each political unit. Then we use this model to reconstruct cropland distribution of the study area in 1820, and verify the result by prefectural cropland data of 1820, which is from the historical documents. The statistical analyzing result shows that the model can simulate the patterns of the cropland distribution in the historical period in the traditional cultivated region efficiently.
Land use/cover change (LUCC) is widely recognized as one of the most important driving forces of global carbon cycles. The influence of converting native forest into plantations, secondary forest, orchard and arable land on stores and quality of soil organic carbon (SOC) was investigated in mid-subtropical mountainous area of southern China. The results showed that LUCC had led to great decreases in SOC stocks and quality. Considerable SOC and light-fraction organic carbon (LFOC) had been stored in the native forest (142.2 t hm?2 and 14.8 t hm?2 respectively). When the native forest was converted to plantations, secondary forest, orchard and arable land, the SOC stocks decreased by 25.6%, 28.7%, 38.0%, 31.8% and 51.2%, respectively. The LFOC stocks decreased by 52.2% to 57.2% when the native forest was converted to woodland plantations and secondary forest, and by 82.1% to 84.2% when converted to economic plantation, orchard and arable land. After the conversion, the ratios of LFOC to SOC (0–60 cm) decreased from 13.3% to about 3.0% to 10.7%. The SOC and LFOC stored at the upper 20 cm were more sensitive to LUCC when compared to the subsurface soil layer. Also, the decline in carbon storage induced by LUCC was greater than the global average level, it could be explained by the vulnerable natural environment and special human management practices. Thus, it is wise to enhance soil carbon sequestration, mitigate elevated atmospheric co2 and develop ecological services by protecting vulnerable environment, restoring vegetation coverage, and afforesting in mountainous area in mid-subtropics.
Based on measured hydrological data by using ship-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) instrument, we analyzed shapes of river cross sections of the middle Yangtze River basin (mainly focusing on Makou and Tianjiazhen river reach). Hydrodynamic properties of river channels were also discussed. The research results indicate that nonlinear relationships can be identified between river-width/river-depth ratio (W/D ratio), sizes of cross section and mean flow velocity. Positive relations are detected between W/D ratio and mean flow velocity when W/D<1; and negative relations are observed when W/D>1. Adverse relationships can be obtained between W/D ratio and cross-section area. Geomorphologic and geologic survey indicates different components of river banks in the wider and narrower river reaches respectively. These may be the main driving factors causing unique hydrological properties of river channels in the middle Yangtze River basin. Narrower river cross sections tend to raise water level in the upstream river reach near narrower river channel, giving rise to backwater effects. River knots can cause serious backwater effects, which is harmful for flood mitigation. However river knots will also stabilize river channel and this will be beneficial for river channel management. The results of this paper may be helpful for flood mitigation and river channel management in the middle Yangtze River basin.
Using NCEP/NCAR reanalysis geopotential height (GHT) and wind at 850 hPa, GHT at 500 hPa, precipitation rate, sea level pressure (SLP) and precipitation observations from more than 600 stations nationwide in June–August from 1951 to 2006, and focusing on the East Asia–West Pacific region (10o–80oN, 70o–180oE), interannual variation of East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and its correlations with general circulation and precipitation patterns are studied by using statistical diagnostic methods such as 9-point high pass filtering, empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis, composite analysis and other statistical diagnosis, etc. It is concluded as follows: (1) EOF analysis of SLP in the East Asia–West Pacific region shows the existence of the zonal dipole oscillation mode (APD) between the Mongolia depression and the West Pacific high, and APD index can be used as an intensity index of EASM. (2) EOF analysis of GHT anomalies at 500 hPa in the East Asia–West Pacific region shows that the first EOF mode is characterized with an obvious meridional East Asian pattern (EAP), and EAP index can also be used as an EASM intensity index. (3) The composite analysis of high/low APD index years reveals the close correlation of APD index with EAP at 500 hPa (or 850 hPa). The study shows an obvious opposite correlation exists between APD index and EAP index with a correlation coefficient of –0.23, which passes the confidence test at 0.10 level. (4) Both APD and EAP indexes are closely correlated with precipitation during flood-prone season in China and precipitation rate over the East Asia–West Pacific region. The significant correlation area at 5% confidence level is mainly located from the southern area of the Yangtze River valley to the ocean around southern Japan, and the former is a positive correlation and the latter is a negative one.
Soil and water loss has been the most serious eco-environmental problem in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of Chongqing. In this paper the authors studied the spatiotemporal features of soil and water loss from 1999 to 2004 based on RS and GIS techniques. The results showed that: (1) The soil and water loss area decreased from 1999 to 2004. (2) Soil and water loss mainly exists in purple soil, yellow soil, limestone soil, paddy soil and yellow brown soil distributed areas. (3) The dry slope land and sparse woodland that are intensively influenced by human activities experienced most serious soil and water loss. (4) Soil and water loss in the study area indicated an obvious vertical differentiation characteristic. (5) There is a significant correlation between soil and water loss and slope. (6) There is no obvious correlation between soil and water loss and aspect. (7) Soil and water loss mainly exists in the values of R between 300 and 340 distribution area. The very-high soil and water loss has obvious correlation with R.
Studying the change of resources consumption and eco-environmental carrying capacity are of importance to the sustainable development of urbanization. Based on the China’s economic and social statistical data from 1950 to 2006, the ecological footprint, ecological footprint intensity, ecological deficit and surplus, and eco-environment quality comprehensive index are calculated, the correlation between urbanization and eco-environmental change is analyzed and the eco-environmental guarantee for China’s urbanization in 2030 is forecasted. The major results could be summarized as follows: (1) there is a positive linear relation between urbanization and ecological footprint, negative linear relation between urbanization and ecological footprint intensity, ecological deficit and surplus and the negative exponential relation between urbanization and eco-environment quality comprehensive index. (2) By 2030, the urbanization level will reach 61.32%, the ecological deficit will increase to 42.2866×108 hm2 and the eco-environment quality comprehensive index will drop to 0.3016 on the condition that the total quantity ecological footprint achieves 55.9348×108 hm2. (3) Under the existing urban development pattern, the ecological overload will be more serious in the next 24 years. Constructing the reasonable industrial structure and establishing the intensive resources utilization system to alleviate the eco-environmental pressure are the tough challenges in China’s urbanization process.
Based on field surveys, soil samples were collected at the YPC site, Yuzhou City, Henan Province for analysis of contents of major and trace elements and their variations with XRF and comparison with the curves of magnetic susceptibility, pH value distribution, loss on ignition and particle-size distribution. It was concluded that the dust source of loess in the upper reaches of the Huaihe River Basin was different from that in the Loess Plateau. And the Holocene pedogenic environmental changes in the upper reaches of the Huaihe River Basin were revealed.
The goal of this study is to provide information on the process of pothole growth on a gorge streambed. Pothole geometries were measured in a reach of the Dabu river bed at the head of a gorge more than 200 m deeply incising into a 650–750 m high planation surface formed in the middle Miocene in northern Guangdong, China. Geometric and derivative data of the potholes obtained from fieldwork were interpreted using standard statistical methodologies. Our study shows that the formation and development of a stream pothole were only related to local conditions of a stream reach where the pothole occurs; the weaknesses, which are usually intersect fractures, typically interconnected vertical joints, or triangular pits generated by hitting of rock fragments during floods, initiate the pothole development on a streambed; the geometrical dimensions of the potholes are controlled by tectonic joints developed in bedrock of the stream reach; the radius and the depth of potholes are strongly (log) positive correlated; the pothole shapes and the flow patterns are inconstant during pothole growth; a pothole can be formed within a short period, but cannot be fully developed and maintained for a long time in a strong incision streambed. The finding in our study can improve the understanding of Quaternary environment in Guangdong.