Water Science and Engineering 2012, 5(4) 399-409 DOI:   10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2012.04.004  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Pearl River
flow discharge
climate change
human impact
dam and reservoir
Shou-sheng MU
Yan-jing ZHANG
Kai-min CHEN
Article by Wei ZHANG
Article by Shou-sheng MU
Article by Yan-jing ZHANG
Article by Kai-min CHEN

Seasonal and interannual variations of flow discharge from Pearl River into sea

Wei ZHANG*1, 2, Shou-sheng MU1, 2, Yan-jing ZHANG1, 3, Kai-min CHEN1, 2

1. State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, P. R. China
2. College of Harbour, Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, P. R. China
3. China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, P. R. China


Flow discharge from the river basin into the sea has severe impacts on the immediate vicinity of river channels, estuaries, and coastal areas. This paper analyzes the features and temporal trends of flow discharge at Pearl River’s three main gauge stations: the Wuzhou, Shijiao, and Boluo gauge stations on the West River, North River, and East River, respectively. The results show no significant trend in annual mean discharge into the sea at the three gauge stations. Changes of monthly mean discharge at the Boluo Gauge Station are evident, and a majority of monthly discharge in the dry season displays significant increasing trends. Furthermore, changes of the extreme discharge are quite evident, with a significant decreasing trend in the annual maximum discharge and a significant increasing trend in the minimum one. The significantly decreasing ratio of the flood discharge to annual discharge at the Boluo Gauge Station indicates that the flow discharge from the East River has increased in the dry season and decreased in the flood season since the construction of dams and reservoirs. At the other two gauge stations, the Wuzhou and Shijiao gauge stations, the seasonal discharge generally does not change perceptibly. Human impacts, especially those pertaining to reservoir and dam construction, appear to be responsible for the seasonal variation of flow discharge. The results indicate that the construction and operation of dams and reservoirs in the East River have a greater influence on flow discharge, which can well explain why the seasonal variation of flow discharge from the East River is more evident.

Keywords Pearl River   flow discharge   climate change   human impact   dam and reservoir  
Received 2011-07-14 Revised 2011-11-14 Online: 2012-12-29 
DOI: 10.3882/j.issn.1674-2370.2012.04.004

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 41006046 and 51061130545), the Special Fund for Public Welfare Industry of Ministry of Water Resources of China (Grant No. 201301072), the New Teachers’ Fund for Doctor Stations of the Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. 20100094120008), and the Special Fund of State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering of Hohai University (Grants No. 2009586712 and 2009585812).

Corresponding Authors: Wei ZHANG
Email: zhangweihhu@126.com
About author:

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