Author(s): Li Changzhi; Wang Zhaoyin; Zhou Jing; Liu Jixiang
Keywords: Lower Yellow River; Water and sediment load; Meanders; Sanmenxia reservoir
Abstract: Employing hydrological data and river regime map this paper studies the impacts of water and sediment load variation on the meanders in the lower Yellow River. Water and sediment load in the lower Yellow River has been largely varying in the period from 1960 to 2002. Erosion occurred in a period with much more water but less sediment load for continuous years and the number of meanders decreased. The river sinuosity decreased as well. On the contrary, in a period with more sediment load and less water for continuous years, siltation occurred in river channel, and the number of meanders increased, the radius of the meanders decreased and the sinuosity of the channel increased. The development process of meanders lags behind of the variation of water and sediment, usually with time-lag of 2-5 years, most 3-4 years. Moreover, the operation of the large dams-the Sanmenxia and Xiaolangdi Dams has changed remarkably the flow of water and sediment load, and induced complicated responses of meanders development.