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Severely declining suspended sediment concentration in the heavily dammed Changjiang fluvial system

Sun, Jian, Zhang, Fanyi, Zhang, Xiaofeng, Lin, Binliang, Yang, Zuosheng, Yuan, Bing and Falconer, Roger A. ORCID: 2021. Severely declining suspended sediment concentration in the heavily dammed Changjiang fluvial system. Water Resources Research 57 (11) , e2021WR030370. 10.1029/2021WR030370

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As a key component of global change, dam-induced sediment reduction occurs in large rivers worldwide, which has profound implications on the fluvial systems. However, the systematic change of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and its dynamic processes are not well known. We summarize typical SSC changes and propose a new sediment modelling framework for heavily dammed fluvial systems with the Changjiang (Yangtze River) as a background. We find that the fluvial SSC has declined by an order of magnitude, i.e., from ∼1.0 to ∼0.1 kg/m3, and even to ∼0.01 kg/m3 locally. The SSC distribution pattern along the mainstream has changed remarkably, with the sediment source/sink being partially reversed. Downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, the SSC recovery capacity gradually decreases with the sediment erosion quantity accumulated over time, and the SSC contribution rate of a linked large lake (Dongting) will change from negative (ca. -39%) to positive (ca. 17%), in the coming decades.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0043-1397
Funders: National Key R&D program of China (2016YFA0600901)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 23 October 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 09:56

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