Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (3): 486-498.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.03.07

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Coastal erosion and sediment dynamics of the Yellow River Delta and their responses to the runoff-sediment flux since 1976

LI He1, HUANG Chong1(), ZHANG Chenchen1,2, LIU Qingsheng1, LIU Gaohuan1   

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-12-24 Revised:2020-02-29 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-05-25
  • Contact: HUANG Chong


In order to analyze the coastal erosion and sediment dynamics of the Yellow River Delta and their responses to the runoff-sediment flux since 1976, satellite images of Landsat from 1976 to 2018 were acquired and used in this study. After the extraction of coastline and Yellow River Delta area, we analyzed the erosion and sediment dynamics of the whole area, the northern coast, and the estuary respectively. Then, the inter-annual and intra-annual variations of runoff and sediment were analyzed. At last, the relationship between coastal erosion and sediment dynamics and runoff and sediment flux in the estuary was discussed. The results show that: (1) The land area of the Yellow River Delta has increased over the past 43 years. Before 1996, the area of the estuary increased significantly, with an annual average increase of about 17 km 2. Then the landmaking process gradually slowed down. (2) After water-sediment regulation, the rate of annual sedimentation decreased from 31 million t to 0.7 million t, the maximum decreased by 79.7%, and sediment decreased by 74.8% during the flood season. (3) The continuous decrease of sediment directly affects the epeirogenic process of the current flow path of the estuary, while the dynamic constraints of the ocean are increasing. Correlation between the cumulative epeirogenic area of the estuary and annual sediment decreased from 0.93 in 1976-1993 to 0.39 after 2002. On the whole, although the water-sediment regulation has maintained the growth of delta land area, the land area of the delta tends to decrease in the future.

Key words: Yellow River Delta, erosion and sediment dynamics, water and sediment, Landsat, estuary, water-sediment regulation, epeirogenic area