Water Science and Engineering 2019, 12(2) 136-144 DOI:   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2019.05.004  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

Current Issue | Archive | Search                                                            [Print]   [Close]
Information and Service
This Article
Supporting info
Service and feedback
Email this article to a colleague
Add to Bookshelf
Add to Citation Manager
Cite This Article
Email Alert
Waterway dimension
Condition analysis
Three Gorges Project
Yichang-Anqing reach
Yangtze River

 Possibilities and challenges of expanding dimensions of waterway downstream of Three Gorges Dam

Tao Yan a, b, Yun-ping Yang b, Yi-bing Li b, Yuan-fang Chai c, Xiao-bing Cheng b,*

a Key Laboratory of Yellow River Sediment Research, Ministry of Water Resources, Zhengzhou 450003, China
b Key Laboratory of Engineering Sediment, Tianjin Research Institute for Water Transport Engineering,
Ministry of Transport, Tianjin 300456, China
c State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China


The waterway in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River has long been known as the Golden Waterway and has served as an important link in the construction of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Therefore, expanding its dimensions is a significant goal, particularly given the long-range cumulative erosion occurring downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD), which has been concentrated in the dry river channel. With the regulation of the volume from upstream reservoirs and the TGD, the minimum discharge and water level of the river downstream are increasing, and creating favorable conditions for the increase of the depth of the waterway. The discharge compensation effect during the dry season offsets the decline in the water level of the river channel caused by the down-cutting of part of the riverbed, but the minimum navigable water level of the segment near the dam still shows a declining trend. In recent years, several waterway remediation projects have been implemented in the downstream reaches of the TGD and although the waterway depth and width have been increased, the channel dimensions are still insufficient in the Yichang-Anqing reach (with a total length of 1026 km), as compared to the upstream reservoir area and the deep water channel in the downstream tidal reaches. A comprehensive analysis of the water depth and the number and length of shoals in the waterway indicates that its dimensions can be increased to 4.5 m × 200 m and 6.0 m × 200 m in the Yichang-Wuhan and Wuhan-Anqing reaches, respectively. This is also feasible given the remediation technologies currently available, but remediation projects need to be coordinated with those for flood prevention and ecological protection.

Keywords Waterway dimension   Condition analysis   Three Gorges Project   Yichang-Anqing reach   Yangtze River  
Received 2018-08-10 Revised 2019-02-25 Online: 2019-06-30 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2019.05.004

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grants No. 2016YFC0402306 and 2016YFC0402106), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51809131), the Key Laboratory of Yellow River Sediment Research, the Ministry of Water Resources of China (Grant No. 2016002), and the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Public Welfare Research Institutes (Grants No. TKS160103, TKS180201, and TKS180411).

Corresponding Authors: Xiao-bing Cheng
Email: kscxb@126.com
About author:


Cao, F.S., Xiao, X., Wu, P., 2010. Yangtze River: China's golden waterway. Civil Engineering 163(5), 15-18. https://doi.org/10.1680/cien.2010.163.5.15.
Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute (CRSCI), 2015. Special Study on Flood Control Effects of Channel Regulation in Yichang-Anqing Section of the Yangtze River. Changjiang River Scientific Research Institute, Wuhan (in Chinese).
Chen, J., Finlayson, B.L., Wei, T.Y., Sun, Q.L., Webber, M., Li, M.T., Chen, Z.Y., 2016. Changes in monthly flows in the Yangtze River, China: With special reference to the Three Gorges Dam. Journal of Hydrology. 536, 293-301. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.03.008.
Dai, Z., Liu, J.T., 2013. Impacts of large dams on downstream fluvial sedimentation: An example of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on the Changjiang (Yangtze River). Journal of Hydrology. 480(4), 10-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.12.003.
Dai, Z., Liu, J.T., Fu, G., Xie, H., 2013. A thirteen-year record of bathymetric changes in the North Passage, Changjiang (Yangtze) Estuary. Geomorphology. 187(4), 101-107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.01.004.
Fan, Y.Y., Zhang, W., Han, J.Q., Yu, M.Q., 2017. The typical meandering river evolution adjustment and its driving mechanism in the downstream reach of TGD. Acta Geographica Sinica. 72(3), 420-431. https://doi.org/10.11821/dlxb201703005.
Fang, H.W, Han, D., He, G.J, Chen, M.H., 2012. Flood management selections for the Yangtze River midstream after the Three Gorges Project operation. Journal of Hydrology. 432-433(8), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.01.042.
Han, J.Q., Sun, Z.H., Cao, Q.X., Huang, Y., 2015. Features and effects of recent cross-section adjustment in gravel and sand bed reaches of Jingjiang River. Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering. 34(4), 91-98 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3093(93)90742-G.
Jiang, L., Li, Y.T., Sun, Z.H., Huang, C.T., 2010. Channel evolution of Jingjiang reach and its influences on waterway after impoundment of the Three Gorges Project. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering. 18(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1005-0930.2010.01.001.
Jiang, L., 2014. Ideas on channel regulation for Yichang to Wuhan reach. Port & Waterway Engineering. 498(12), 116-121 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.16223/j.cnki.issn10002-4972.2014.12.023.
Li, J., Xia, Z.Q., Dai, H.C., Yin, W., 2013. Effect of the Three Gorges Reservoir initial filling on downstream habitat suitability of the typical fishes. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. 44(8), 892-1000 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.13243/j.cnki.slxb.2013.08.001.
Liu, H.H., Lei, G.P., Yin, S.R., Kuang, H.W., 2016. Ecological measures and technology prospect for trunk waterway management in the Yangtze River. Port & Waterway Engineering. 511(1), 114-118 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.16233/j.cnki1002-4972.2016.01.024.
Liu, H.H., Yang, S.F., Cao, M.X., 2017. Advances in “Golden Waterway” regulation technologies of the Yangtze River. Advanced Engineering Sciences. 49(2), 17-27. https://doi.org/10.15961/j.jsuese.201700029.
Liu, J.W., 2015. Discussion on Ecological Waterway Development of the Changjiang River. Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Basin. 24(s1), 9-14 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.11870/cjlyzyyhj2015Z1002.
Liu, L., Huang, C.T., Li, M., and Zhang, M., 2014. Periodic evolution mechanism of staggered beach in typical straight reach of the Middle Yangtze River. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering. 22(3), 445-456. https://doi.org/10.15961/j.jsuese.201700029.
Sun, Z.H., Li, Y.T., Huang, Y., Gao, K.C., 2011. Fluvial process of sandbars and shoals in branching channels of the middle Yangtze River. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. 42(12), 1398-1406.
Sun, Z.H., Feng, Q.F., Han, J.Q., Cao, Q.X., 2013. Fluvial processes of sandbars in the junction reach of single-threaded channel to anabranching channel and its impact on navigation: A case study of the Tianxingzhou reach of the Yangtze River. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering. 21(4), 445-456. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1005-0930.2013.04.007.
Williams, G.P., Wolman, M.G., 1984. Downstream Effects of Dams on Alluvial Rivers, United States Geological Survey, Reston.
Xia, J.Q., Zong, Q.L., Deng, S.S., Xu, Q.X., Lu, J.Y, 2014a. Seasonal variations in composite riverbank stability in the lower Jingjiang Reach, China. Journal of Hydrology. 519, 3664-3673. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.10.061.
Xia, J.Q., Zong, Q.L., Zhang, Y., Xu, Q.X., Li, X.J., 2014b. Prediction of recent bank retreat processes at typical sections in the Jingjiang Reach. Science China: Technological Science. 57(8), 1490-1499. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11431-014-5597-y.
Xia, J.Q., Deng, S.S., Lu, J.Y., Xu, Q.X., Zong, Q.L., Tan, G.M., 2016. Dynamic channel adjustments in the Jingjiang Reach of the middle Yangtze River. Scientific Reports. 6, 22802. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep22802.
Xu, Q.X., Yuan, J., Wu, W.J., Xiao, Y., 2011. Fluvial processes in middle Yangtze River after impoundment of Three Gorges Project. Journal of Sediment Research. (2), 38-46 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.16239/j.cnki.0468-155x.2011.02.008.
Xu, Q.X., 2013. Study of sediment deposition and erosion patterns in the middle and downstream Changjiang mainstream after impoundment of TGR. Journal of Hydroelectric Engineering. 32(2), 146-154.
Xu, Q.X., Zhu, L.L., Yuan, J., 2013. Research on water-sediment variation and deposition: Erosion in middle and lower Yangtze River. Yangtze River. 44(23), 16-21 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.16232/j.cnki.1001-4179.2013.23.002.
Yan, J., Cao, Z.X., Liu, H.H., 2010. Experience summary of waterway regulation projects for five typical reaches in the middle and lower Yangtze River. Journal of Waterway and Harbor. 31(5), 511-519.
Yang, Y.P., Zhang, M.J., Zhu, L.L., Liu, W.L., Han, J.Q., Yang, Y.H., 2017. Influence of large reservoir operation on water-levels and flows in reaches below dam: Case study of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Scientific Reports. 7, 15640. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15677-y.
Yang, Y.P, Zhang, M.J, Sun, Z.H, 2018a. The relationship between water level change and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam. Journal of Geographical Sciences. 28(12), 1975-1993. https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s11442-018-1575-9.
Yang, Y.P., Zhang, M.J., Sun, Z.H., Li, H.G., Jiang, L., Zhu, L.L., Li, K.Y., 2018b. Characteristics and reason of riverbed evolution difference in the middle Yangtze River based on river unit model. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering. 26(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.16058/j.issn.1005-0930.2018.01.007.
Yin, Y.J., Wang, Z.Y., Yang, Z.F., 2010. Impact of the Gezhouba and Three Gorges Dams on habitat suitability of carps in the Yangtze River. Journal of Hydrology. 387(3-4), 283-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.04.018.
You, X.Y., Tang, J.W., Zhang, X.F., Hou, W.G., Yang, Y.P., Sun, Z.H., Weng, Z.H., 2017a. The mechanism of barrier river reaches in the middle and lower Yangtze River. Journal of Geographical Sciences. 27(10), 1249-1267. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11442-017-1433-1.
You, L.X, Wang, K., Zhu, Z.M., Liu, S.P., 2017b. Aquatic biological resource survey in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and prediction analysis of the impact of navigation channel renovation. Environmental Impact Assessment. 39(6), 43-47. https://doi.org/10.14068/j.ceia.2017.06.011.
Yuan, W.H., Yin, D.W., Finlayson, B., Chen, Z.Y., 2012. Assessing the potential for change in the middle Yangtze River channel following impoundment of the Three Gorges Dam. Geomorphology. 147-148(8), 27-34. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.06.039.
Zhang, W., Yuan, J., Han, J.Q., Huang, C.T., Li, M., 2016. Impact of the Three Gorges Dam on sediment deposition and erosion in the middle Yangtze River: A case study of the Shashi reach. Hydrology Research. 47(s1), 175-186. https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2016.092.
Zhao, C.H., Zhu, Z.H., Zhou, D.Z., 2000. Worldwide River & Dam. China Water & Power Press, Beijing, pp. 653-658 (in Chinese).
Zhou, J.Z., Zhao, Y., Song, L.X., Bi, S., Zhang, H.J., 2014. Assessing the effect of the Three Gorges reservoir impoundment on spawning habitat suitability of Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) in Yangtze River, China. Ecological Informatics. 20(3), 33-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2014.01.008.
Zhu, L.L., Ge, H., Li, Y.T., Zhang, W., 2015. Branching channels in the middle Yangtze River, China. Journal of Basic Science and Engineering. 23(2), 246-258 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.16058/j.issn.1005-0930.2015.02.004.
Zhu, L.L., Xu, Q.X., Xiong, M., 2017. Fluvial processes of meandering channels in the Lower Jingjiang River reach after the impoundment of Three Gorges Reservoir. Advances in Water Science. 28(2), 193-202 (in Chinese). https://doi.org/10.14042/j.cnki.32.1309.2017.02.004.

Similar articles
1.Hao-yun WU;Yan HU.Maintaining healthy rivers and lakes through water diversion from Yangtze River to Taihu lake in Taihu Basin[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2008,1(3): 36-43
2.Yong FAN.Application of 2-D sediment model to fluctuating backwater area of Yangtze River[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2009,2(3): 37-47
3. Huang-he GU, Zhong-bo YU, Chuan-guo YANG, Qin JU, Bao-hong LU, Chuan LIANG.Study on the large scale hydrologic simulation using multi-satellite precipitation[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2010,3(4): 418-430
4.Wen-xian GUO, Hong-xiang WANG, Jian-xin XU, Zi-qiang XIA.Ecological operation for Three Gorges reservoir[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2011,4(2): 143-156
5.Ling KANG; Xiao-ming GUO.Hydrodynamic effects of reconnecting lake group with Yangtze River in China[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2011,4(4): 405-420
6.Zhen-chun HAO, Kai TONG, Xiao-li LIU, Lei-lei ZHANG.Capability of TMPA products to simulate streamflow in upper Yellow and Yangtze River basins on Tibetan Plateau[J]. Water Science and Engineering, 2014,7(3): 237-249

Copyright by Water Science and Engineering