Water Resources Management

, Volume 28, Issue 14, pp 5111–5124 | Cite as

Impoundment Effects of the Three-Gorges-Dam on Flow Regimes in Two China’s Largest Freshwater Lakes

  • Xijun LaiEmail author
  • Qiuhua Liang
  • Jiahu Jiang
  • Qun Huang


The impoundment of the Three-Gorges-Dam (TGD) significantly alters the flow regimes in Poyang and Dongting Lakes, the two largest freshwater lakes in China by reducing river discharge. This work aims to investigate the impoundment effects of the TGD on lake outflow and water level and clarify dynamic mechanism for the hydrological responses of both lakes to the TGD impoundment based on the typical case study. A hydrodynamic model is set up to simultaneously simulate hydrodynamics in the two lakes and the middle Yangtze River. Results show that TGD induces profound changes of the flow regimes in both lakes. The effects dynamically change with the TGD-induced Yangtze River discharge alteration, and are highly heterogeneous in space due to the complicated interactions between the lakes and the Yangtze River. The impoundment of the TGD accelerates Poyang Lake drainage. But that is not all for Dongting Lake, the TGD impoundment also reduces its water supply from the Yangtze River. The results from this work improve the understanding of the TGD impacts on the downstream river-lake system and provide scientific evidences for formulating better scheme for water resources management in this region.


Three-Gorges Dam Flow regime Hydrodynamic model CHAM-Yangtze Poyang Lake Dongting Lake 



This research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2012CB417000) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41071021).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xijun Lai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qiuhua Liang
    • 2
  • Jiahu Jiang
    • 1
  • Qun Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and EnvironmentNanjing Institute of Geography & Limnology CASNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Civil Engineering and GeosciencesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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