Journal of Geographical Sciences >
Spatiotemporal differentiation and development process of tidal creek network morphological characteristics in the Yellow River Delta
Mou Kuinan (1996), specialized in remote sensing technology and geoscience application. Email: moukuinan@163.com 
Received date: 20210803
Accepted date: 20210920
Online published: 20220125
Supported by
National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC0505903)
National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971381)
Copyright
Tidal creeks are the main channels of landsea ecosystem interactions, and their high dynamics are an important factor affecting the hydrological connectivity of tidal flats. Taking the Yellow River Delta as the research area, we selected remote sensing images obtained during five periods from 1998 to 2018 as the data sources. Based on the spatial analysis function in GIS, the typical morphological characteristics of tidal creeks, such as the level, length, density, curvature, bifurcation ratio, and overmarsh path length (OPL), were extracted to characterize the degree of development of the tidal creeks in the Yellow River Delta wetlands. The spatiotemporal evolution of the tidal creeks was studied, and the development process and the characteristics of the tidal creeks during the different stages of development were investigated. The results revealed that (1) The number, density, and bifurcation ratio of tidal creeks exhibit an increasing trend, but the growth of the trend is slowing. The number of tidal creeks increased by 44.9% from the initial stage of the Yellow River diversion to the late stage of the wetland restoration, but it only increased by 26.2% from the late stage of the wetland restoration to the slow expansion of the Spartina alterniflora*2) The curvature of the tidal creeks on the landward side is greater than that on the seaward side*3) The development degree of tidal creek has spatial heterogenetiy, which is Area III > Area II > Area I*4) The drainage efficiency is significantly correlated with the tidal creak density and bifurcation ratio. Based on the analysis of the various morphological parameters and the drainage efficiency, it was found that after the rapid change in the tidal creek system in the early stage, the tidal creeks entered a state of slow change, and the development state of the tidal creeks tends to be in dynamic balance. The results of this study are expected to provide scientific support for the sustainable development and utilization of coastal tidal flats.
MOU Kuinan , GONG Zhaoning , QIU Huachang . Spatiotemporal differentiation and development process of tidal creek network morphological characteristics in the Yellow River Delta[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2021 , 31(11) : 1633 1654 . DOI: 10.1007/s114420211915z
Figure 1 Location of the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, Shandong Province, China (Area I on north bank of Yellow River, Area II on east side of south bank of Yellow River, and Area III on west side of south bank of Yellow River)Note: This map is based on the standard map with approval number GS (2016)1569 on the standard map service website of the National Basic Geographic Information Center; the base map has not been modified. 
Table 1 Essential information of remotesensing images 
Time  Image type  Path/Row  Imaging time 

Experimental image  
1998  TM  121/34  04/19,06/06,09/26,12/15 
2004  TM  121/34  03/18, 05/21, 09/10, 10/12 
2008  TM  121/34  04/14, 07/03, 10/07, 10/23 
2013  OLI  121/34  04/02, 06/15, 09/03, 11/22 
2018  OLI  121/34  03/25, 07/31, 09/17, 10/19 
Portal image  
2013  SPOT6    09/03 
2018  GF1 PMS    07/16 
Figure 2 Probability density function of overmarsh path length evaluated for tidal creek network 
Figure 3 Distribution of various levels of tidal creeks in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistics of the number of different levels of tidal creeks in each area annually 
Figure 4 Frequency diagram of tidal creek length in different districts and levels; red and green lines are fitting curves for the first and secondlevel creeks, respectively 
Figure 5 Kernel density of tidal creek in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistics of tidal creek density by area 
Figure 6 Curvature of tidal creek in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistics of tidal creek curvature by area 
Figure 7 Distribution of tidal creek branch points in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistics of tidal creek bifurcation ratio by area 
Figure 8 Overmarsh path length of main tidal creek systems in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistical chart showing overmarsh path length of the main tidal creek networks annually 
Figure 9 Changes in vegetation distribution in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve: (a) 1998, (b) 2004, (c) 2008, (d) 2013, (e) 2018, and (f) statistics of vegetation coverage by area 
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