Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, 30:45 | Cite as

The influence of the Three-Gorges Dam on hydrographic and hydrodynamic conditions of the East China Sea

  • Xiaopeng Fan
  • Feng Zhou
  • Xueen Chen
  • Daji Huang
  • Thomas PohlmannEmail author


A fine resolution model has been applied to get more insight into the effects of a modified runoff due to the Three-Gorges-Dam (TGD) on the East China Sea (ECS). The region of interest was confined to the offshore area in the vicinity of the Changjiang River. To the east, it extended up to the area southwest of Cheju Island. The model was used to evaluate the effect of a modified runoff on the water properties of the adjacent regions like the Changjiang diluted water (CDW) and the Zhoushan Fishing Ground. The sensitivity of the ECS to a modified Changjiang runoff was explored firstly by sensitivity studies and secondly by experiments based on historical runoff records and water management plans of the TGD. These experiments led to the general conclusion that the most affected area by runoff is located close to the Changjiang River mouth. The area of influence has an extension of about 150 km×150 km. In the realistic experiment, the related anomalies reached their maximum value in early summer (May). In normal years the related salinity anomalies can get to as large as 2.

Key words

Three-Gorges-Dam surface salinity anomalies stratification East China Sea 


  1. Arakawa A, Lamb V R. 1977. Computational design of the basic dynamical processes of the UCLA general circulation model. Methods in Computational Physics 17: 173–265Google Scholar
  2. Backhaus J O. 1985. A three-dimensional model for the simulation of shelf sea dynamics. Deutsche Hydrographische Zeitschrift, 38: 165–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beardsley R C, Limburner R, Yu H S, et al. 1985. Discharge of the Changjiang (Yangtze River) into the East China Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 4: 57–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang P H, Isobe A. 2003. A numerical study on the Changjiang diluted water in the Yellow and East China Seas. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 108(C9): 3299, doi: 10.1029/2002JC001749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen X E. 2004. Analysis of the circulation on the east-Chinese shelf and the adjacent Pacific Ocean. [dissetation]. Hamburg: University of Hamburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  6. Delcroix T, Murtugudde R. 2002. Sea surface salinity changes in the East China Sea during 1997–2001: Influence of the Yangtze River. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(C12): 8008,doi: 1029/2001JC000893CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fekete B M, Vorosmarty C J, Grabs W. 2000. Global, composite runoff fields based on observed river discharge and simulated water balances. UNH/GRDC Composite runoff fields. V1.0.Google Scholar
  8. Fofonoff N P, Millard R C. 1983. Algorithms for computation of fundamental properties of sea water. UNESCO Technical Papers in Marine Science. Paris France, UNESCO, 44Google Scholar
  9. Fung I Y, Harrison D E, Lacis A A. 1984. On the variability of the net long wave radiation at the ocean surface. Reviews of Geophysics, 22: 177–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gibson R, Per K, Sakari U. 1996. The ECMWF Reanalysis (ERA) ProjectGoogle Scholar
  11. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, et al. 1996. The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77(3): 437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kochergin V P. 1987. Three-dimensional prognostic models. In: Heaps N S, ed. Three-dimensional Coastal Ocean Models. Washington, D C, American Geophysical Union (Coastal and Estuarine Science 4). 201–208Google Scholar
  13. Kondo J. 1975. Air-sea bulk transfer coefficients in diabatic conditions. Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 9: 91–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee H J and Shenn Y C. 2003. A climatological description of circulation in and around the East China Sea. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 50: 1065–1084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mao H, Gan Z, Lan S. 1963. A preliminary study of the Yangtze diluted water and its mixing processes. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica(in Chinese), 5(3): 183–205Google Scholar
  16. Orlanski I. 1976. A simple boundary condition for unbounded hyperbolic flows. Journal of Computational Physics, 21: 251–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pohlmann T. 1996. Predicting the thermocline in a circulation model of the North Sea: Part I. Model description, calibration, and verification. Continental Shelf Research, 16:131–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pohlmann T. 2006. A meso-scale model of the central and southern North Sea: consequences of an improved resolution. Continental Shelf Research, 19: 2367–2385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Roache P J. 1985. Computational fluid dynamics. New Mexico, USA: Hermosa PublishersGoogle Scholar
  20. Tan P, Wang H. 2004. Function of Three Gorges project against salty-tide invasion in Yangtze mouth. China Three Gorges Construction (in Chinese), 5: 1–11Google Scholar
  21. Wang J Z. 2002. Three Gorges project: the largest water conservancy project in the world. Public Administration and Development, 22: 369–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Yuan Y C, Su J L. 1982. A single layer model of the continental shelf circulation in the East China Sea. Acta Oceanogogia Sinica, 4(1): 1–11Google Scholar
  23. Zhang J. 1996. Nutrient elements in large Chinese estuaries. Continental Shelf Research, 16(8): 1023–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhu J R, Xiao C Y, Shen H T. 1998. Study on the expansion of the Changjiang River dilute water. Acta Oceanogogia Sinica, 20(5): 13–22Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaopeng Fan
    • 1
  • Feng Zhou
    • 1
    • 4
  • Xueen Chen
    • 2
  • Daji Huang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Thomas Pohlmann
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Physical OceanographyOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Institute of OceanographyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Department of Ocean Science and EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations