Water Resources

Response of delta sedimentary system to variation of water and sediment in the Yellow River over past six decades

  • State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
Peng Jun (1981–), Ph.D and Lecturer, specialized in marine geology and sedimentary dynamics. E-mail: ipengjun2010@sina.com

Received date: 2009-10-10

  Revised date: 2009-11-06

  Online published: 2010-08-15

Supported by

Special Expenses Program of Scientific Research in Marine Commonweal Industry, No.200805063; Scientific Research Program of State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, No.2008KYYW06; Open-end Foundation of State Oceanic Administration Key Laboratory of Marine Sedimentology & Environmental Geology, No.MASEG200608


In order to find out the variation process of water-sediment and its effect on the Yellow River Delta, the water discharge and sediment load at Lijin from 1950 to 2007 and the decrease of water discharge and sediment load in the Yellow River Basin caused by human disturbances were analyzed by means of statistics. It was shown that the water discharge and sediment load into the sea were decreasing from 1950 to 2007 with serious fluctuation. The human activities were the main cause for decrease of water discharge and sediment load into the sea. From 1950 to 2005, the average annual reduction of water discharge and sediment load by means of water-soil conservation practices were 2.02×109 m3 and 3.41×108 t respectively, and the average annual volume by water abstraction for industry and agriculture were 2.52×1010 m3 and 2.42×108 t respectively. The average sediment trapped by Sanmenxia Reservoir was 1.45×108 t from 1960 to 2007, and the average sediment retention of Xiaolangdi Reservoir was 2.398×108 t from 1997 to 2007. Compared to the data records at Huanyuankou, the water discharge and sediment load into the sea decreased with siltation in the lower reaches and increased with scouring in the lower reaches. The coastline near river mouth extended and the delta area increased when the ratio of accumulative sediment load and accumulative water discharge into the sea (SSCT) is 25.4–26.0 kg/m3 in different time periods. However, the sharp decrease of water discharge and sediment load into the sea in recent years, especially the Yellow River into the sea at Qing 8, the entire Yellow River Delta has turned into erosion from siltation, and the time for a reversal of the state was about 1997.

Cite this article

PENG Jun, CHEN Shenliang . Response of delta sedimentary system to variation of water and sediment in the Yellow River over past six decades[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2010 , 20(4) : 613 -627 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-010-0613-z


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