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Adjustments in low-water channel geometry caused by upstream damming: an example from the Jingjiang Reach, China

Abstract

The flow and sediment regime entering downstream rivers can be altered remarkably owing to upstream damming, and adjustments in low-water channel will occur consequently. The Upper Jingjiang Reach (UJR) downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) is chosen as the study region. Firstly, the rating curve between water level and discharge at each cross-section in the UJR was calculated from 2002 to 2016 using a one-dimensional hydrodynamic model, with the low-water channel geometry under the given low-water discharge being determined. Then, the reach-scale low-water channel geometry was further calculated using a reach-averaged approach. Finally, the effect of low-water channel adjustments on navigation condition was investigated, and empirical relationships were proposed to reproduce the channel response process to the altered flow and suspended sediment conditions caused by the TGD. Calculated results in 2002–2016 show that: (i) the low-water depth in the UJR increased by 0.83 m, and the corresponding width-depth ratio decreased from 5.73 to 4.98, which led to a better navigation condition; (ii) the variation in low-water channel dimensions (with the exception of width) was correlated with the previous 6-year average flow and sediment conditions, with the coefficient of determination of each empirical relation larger than 0.86. Furthermore, the proposed approach was also applied in the Jianli reach of the Lower Jingjiang Reach, with satisfying results being obtained.

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Funding

This work was supported mainly by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51725902, U2040215, and 52009095), and it was also supported partly by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant Nos. BX2021228 and 2020M682476).

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Correspondence to Junqiang Xia.

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Responsible Editor: Stefan Grab

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Zhou, M., Xia, J., Deng, S. et al. Adjustments in low-water channel geometry caused by upstream damming: an example from the Jingjiang Reach, China. Arab J Geosci 14, 1640 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-07979-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-07979-3

Keywords

  • Low-water channel geometry
  • Upstream damming
  • Flow and sediment regime
  • Navigation conditions
  • Jingjiang Reach
  • Three Gorges Dam