Assessment of water storage response to surface hydrological connectivity in a large floodplain system (Poyang Lake, China) using hydrodynamic and geostatistical analysis

  • Yunliang LiEmail author
  • Qi Zhang
  • Jing Yao
  • Zhiqiang Tan
  • Xinggen Liu
Original Paper


Floodplains play a significant role in affecting the transport of water, dissolved matter and sediments during wide-ranging drying and wetting. This study uses a hydrodynamic model and geostatistical method to explore the variations of water storage and its relationship with the surface hydrological connectivity, exemplified by the large Poyang Lake-floodplain system (in China). The simulations show that the floodplain storage exhibits largely similar behavior to that of the total lake water storage, but the water storage in the main lake is distinctly higher than the floodplains. The lake storage is estimated to be from 20 × 108 to 163 × 108 m3 and differs considerably between seasons, and the contribution of the floodplain to the total lake storage varies from 18 to 34%. Geostatistical analysis reveals that the degree of surface hydrological connectivity can be classified as high connectivity in summer, low connectivity in winter, and intermediate connectivity during other seasons. Higher variability of water storage and lower frequency of hydrological connectivity are found in the seasonal floodplains, whereas the lower variability and higher frequency are observed in the main lake, indicating that water storage is inextricably linked to the dynamic behaviors of surface hydrological connectivity. Additionally, the estimated water storage significantly increases from the low and intermediate conditions to the high connectivity condition, mainly due to the key process of the west–east connectivity in controlling lake-floodplain interactions. This study improves understanding of Poyang Lake floodplain behavior and other similar floodplain systems by providing knowledge of water balance, water allocation and water management.

Graphic abstract


Floodplain lake Geostatistical analysis Hydrodynamic model Surface hydrological connectivity Water storage Poyang Lake 



This work is jointly supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA23040202); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41771037); the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y9CJH01001); the Science Foundation of Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS2018GH06); and the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFZD-SW-318-2). We thank Poyang Lake Research Station for Wetland Ecosystem of the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS for providing the water quality data used in this study. We are also grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers for the constructive suggestions given during the review process.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunliang Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qi Zhang
    • 1
  • Jing Yao
    • 1
  • Zhiqiang Tan
    • 1
  • Xinggen Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of ScienceBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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