Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 179–187 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and stratigraphic characteristics of surface sediments in Taihu Lake, China

  • Ji Shen
  • HeZhong Yuan
  • EnFeng Liu
  • JianJun Wang
  • Yong Wang
Open Access
Article Geology


A geophysical survey was carried out for Taihu Lake, one of the largest shallow lakes in China. The StrataBox™ Marine Geophysical Instrument was applied for the first time to obtain high-resolution seismic data (in the form of vectorgraphs) of the lake sediment. Data were then interpreted by SonarWiz.Map acoustics software. Data were correlated with core stratigraphy from the lake as well as an outcrop on the northern side of the lake at Yao Bay. Results show that the upper 10 m sediment (beneath the interface of the sediment and the overlying lake water) is characterized by laminated sediments, which can be classified into two stratal types, i.e. lacustrine sediment stratum (U1) and underlying hard loess stratum (U2). The contact of these two lithologies is not continuous, and part of it is absent in the lake basin. Unequally spread over the lake basin, the lacustrine sediment (mainly consisting of sludge and muddy-clay) is found in areas along the western bank, to the northwest of the Xishan Mountains and along the northwestern side of the lake. In the rest of the lake basin, the hard loess stratum is exposed in outcrops. The depth of the lacustrine sediment ranges from 1 to 2 m, while the depth of the sludge (closely related to the modern lacustrine environment) varies from 0.03 to 1.0 m. The spatial distribution of lacustrine sediments in Taihu Lake is primarily influenced by transportation and sedimentation of riverine materials, as well as the hydrodynamics of lake currents.


surface sediment spatial distribution stratigraphy geophysical survey Taihu Lake 


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© The Author(s) 2011

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji Shen
    • 1
  • HeZhong Yuan
    • 1
    • 2
  • EnFeng Liu
    • 1
  • JianJun Wang
    • 1
  • Yong Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing Institute of Geography and LimnologyChinese Academy of SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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