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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 415058, 9 pages
Research Article

Contribution of River Mouth Reach to Sediment Load of the Yangtze River

1State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dry Land Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Water and Soil Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2Anhui Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Integration and Application, Chuzhou University, Fengle Road 1528, Chuzhou, Anhui 239012, China
3Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260

Received 4 February 2015; Revised 9 April 2015; Accepted 21 April 2015

Academic Editor: Steffen Mischke

Copyright © 2015 C. Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper examined the sediment gain and loss in the river mouth reach of the Yangtze River by considering sediment load from the local tributaries, erosion/accretion of the river course, impacts of sand mining, and water extraction. A quantitative estimation of the contribution of the river mouth reach to the sediment load of the Yangtze River was conducted before and after impoundment of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) in 2003. The results showed that a net sediment load loss of 1.78 million ton/yr (Mt/yr) occurred from 1965 to 2002 in the study area. The contribution of this reach to the sediment discharge into the sea is not as high as what was expected before the TGD. With impoundment of the TGD, channel deposition (29.90 Mt/yr) and a net sediment loss of 30.89 Mt/yr occurred in the river mouth reach from 2003 to 2012. The river mouth reach has acted as a sink but not a source of sediment since impoundment of the TGD, which has exacerbated the decrease in sediment load. Technologies should be advanced to measure changes in river channel morphology, as well as in water and sediment discharges at the river mouth reach.