REN Mei'e. Sediment discharge of the Yellow River, China: past, present and future-A synthesis[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2015, 34(2): 1-8. doi: 10.1007/s13131-015-0619-6
Citation: REN Mei'e. Sediment discharge of the Yellow River, China: past, present and future-A synthesis[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2015, 34(2): 1-8. doi: 10.1007/s13131-015-0619-6

Sediment discharge of the Yellow River, China: past, present and future-A synthesis

doi: 10.1007/s13131-015-0619-6
  • Received Date: 2014-12-01
  • Rev Recd Date: 2014-12-20
  • The Yellow River cut through Sanmenxia Gorge and discharged into the sea via the North China Plain in 150 ka BP; since then, around 86 000 × 108 t sediment has been transported passing Sanmenxia Gorge. Based on land use and land cover changes in Loess Plateau and other available evidence, an estimate of the Yellow River sediment budget is presented here: about 72% of the sedimentary material was trapped in the North China Plain and the remainder (i.e., 26%) escaped to the sea. At the present stage, < 0.2×108 t/a suspended sediment of the Yellow River enter the northern Yellow Sea. The transport pattern is determined mainly by the shelf current system. Annually 0.2×108-0.3×108 t of suspended particles are carried to the East China Sea; the materials are derived mainly from coastal and subaqueous delta erosion associated with the abandoned Yellow River on the Jiangsu coast. Since 1972, the lower Yellow River started to have a situation of continuous no-flow. During 1996-2000, the annual water flow and sediment discharge are only 19%, as compared with normal years (i.e., average for 1950-1979). In response to global warming and increase of water diversion from the Yellow River for industrial and urban use, the sediment flux of the Yellow River to the sea will most likely remain small in the next two to three decades.
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