Change in sediment load of the Yangtze River after Wenchuan earthquake
- 83 Downloads
On May 12, 2008, an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude on the Richter scale and its numerous aftershocks devastatingly hit Wenchuan County and its nearby region along the Longman Mountains in Sichuan Province, China. The heavy ruined area was up to 30,000 km2 and 13% of its land surface was denuded by the extremely terrible quakes. The mountain collapses, landslides and debris flows induced by the earthquake not only scared the landscape at the immense scale, but also poured 1.66-billion-m3 sediment combined with offscourings and rubble into the Yangtze River and its breaches. This amount of sediments is 3 times more than the normal amount discharged into the Yangtze River, and will significantly increase sediment transportation of rivers and decrease storage capacities of reservoirs downstream. The dramatic increase in sediment load will imperil the engineering safety and impact the operation of the giant Three-Gorge Hydro-power Station if no proper prevention measures are taken.
KeywordsWenchuan earthquake sediment load the Yangtze River
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Xinhuan. 2008. Facts and figures about China quake and relief. <http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/28/content_8265715.htm>
- Cheng, G.W. 1998. Forest change: the hydrological effects of the upper Yangtze River valley. Ambio 25(4):125–132.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Water Resources of China. 2004. National soil loss report in 2003. Beijing.Google Scholar
- National Forest Bureau of China. 2005. China forest report in the year of 2004.Beijing.Google Scholar