Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 153–164 | Cite as

Synchronous response of sedimentary organic carbon accumulation on the inner shelf of the East China Sea to the water impoundment of Three Gorges and Gezhouba Dams

  • Jia Lin (林佳)
  • Qing Zhu (祝青)
  • Yuehui Hong (洪跃辉)
  • Lirong Yuan (袁丽蓉)
  • Jinzhong Liu (刘金钟)
  • Xiaoming Xu (徐小明)
  • Jianghai Wang (王江海)


Coastal seas, located between continents and the open ocean, are an important active carbon pool. The sedimentary total organic carbon (TOC) in these areas is a mixture of terrestrial and marine sources, and can be a powerful proxy for tracing natural processes and human activities. In this study, one fine-grained sediment core (DH5-1) from the inner shelf of the East China Sea was systematically analyzed for TOC and black carbon (BC) contents and TOC stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C). By combining these data with 210Pb dating, an improved carbon correction model and a two end-member mixing model, we reconstructed century-scale high-resolution sequences of corrected TOC, terrestrial TOC and marine TOC contents and identified two carbon depletion events in the DH5-1 record. The two events, shown as two minima in the TOC profiles, correspond temporally to 1985-1987 AD and 2003-2006 AD, which exactly matches the water impoundment of the Gezhouba Dam and Three Gorges Dam, respectively. In addition, the variations in TOC contents and δ13C values before, during or after the minima demonstrate a relationship between the depletion events and water impoundment of the dams on the Changjiang River. The TOC reductions may represent synchronous responses of sedimentary TOC and resultant ecological effects on the inner shelf of the East China Sea to the water impoundment of the dams. These new TOC records reflect the interaction between natural and anthropogenic processes and, accordingly, provide a deep insight and important references for assessing marine ecological effects resulting from water impoundment of largescale dams.


sedimentary organic carbon carbon correction East China Sea Three Gorges Dam Gezhouba Dam 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Lin (林佳)
    • 1
  • Qing Zhu (祝青)
    • 1
  • Yuehui Hong (洪跃辉)
    • 1
  • Lirong Yuan (袁丽蓉)
    • 1
  • Jinzhong Liu (刘金钟)
    • 2
  • Xiaoming Xu (徐小明)
    • 1
  • Jianghai Wang (王江海)
    • 1
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Coastal Engineering/South China Sea Bioresource Exploitation and Utilization Collaborative Innovation Center, School of Marine SciencesSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

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