Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1387–1396 | Cite as

Influencing factors of sediment deposition and their spatial variability in riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, China

  • Bin-yan Wang
  • Dong-chun YanEmail author
  • An-bang Wen
  • Jia-cun Chen


Many factors can affect the sediment deposition and soil erosion process in riparian zone, including terrain, sediment transport and water level fluctuations. Clarifying the factors influencing sediment deposition process in the riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoirs is an important problem to determine the key area of sediment deposition and its trend of development in the study area. In order to reveal the influence of these environmental factors on the sediment deposition in riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, this study investigated 1) the amount of deposited sediment in different environmental conditions, 2) the potential factors affecting sediment deposition in riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, 3) the relationship between the deposited sediment amount and these factors previously mentioned using correlation analysis, and 4) the influence of human activities considered as an additional factor. This study found that 1) slope gradient, elevation, inundating duration and human activities were the main factors influencing sedimentation in riparian zone of the Three Gorges Reservoir, and 2) the impact of each factor varied with spaces. Specifically, in the upper reach from Jiangjin to Fuling, human activities such as gravel dredging, bank revetment and ports and wharfs constructing disturbed considerable amounts of deposited sediment, as a result, there was no natural law to dictate the distribution. In the middle reach from Fuling to Fengjie, slope gradient and inundating duration were the controlling factors, and the sediment deposition amount was greater in the areas with a gentler slope or lower elevation. Water flow on gentler slopes generally had lower velocity, resulting in more sediment to deposit. Sites with lower elevations would be drowned by sediment-laden flow with a longer duration resulting from hydrologic regime controlled by the operating strategy of the Three Gorges Reservoir, leading to a larger amount of sediment deposition. In the lower reach from Fengjie to Zigui, slope gradient was similar to the middle reach, performing a primary factor, while other factors showed little relationship with sediment amount.


Influencing Factors Spatial variability Sediment deposition Riparian zone Three Gorges Reservoir 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin-yan Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dong-chun Yan
    • 1
    Email author
  • An-bang Wen
    • 1
  • Jia-cun Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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