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Remotely sensed mid-channel bar dynamics in downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, China

Wen, Z., Yang, H. ORCID:, Zhang, C., Shao, G. and Wu, S. (2020) Remotely sensed mid-channel bar dynamics in downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, China. Remote Sensing, 12 (3). e409. ISSN 2072-4292

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/rs12030409


The downstream reach of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) along the Yangtze River (1560 km) hosts numerous mid-channel bars (MCBs). MCBs dynamics are crucial to the river’s hydrological processes and local ecological function. However, a systematic understanding of such dynamics and their linkage to TGD remains largely unknown. Using Landsat-image-extracted MCBs and several spatial-temporal analysis methods, this study presents a comprehensive understanding of MCB dynamics in terms of number, area, and shape, over downstream of TGD during the period 1985−2018. On average, a total of 140 MCBs were detected and grouped into four types representing small ( 2 km2), middle (2 km2 − 7 km2), large (7 km2 − 33 km2) and extra-large size (>33 km2) MCBs, respectively. MCBs number decreased after TGD closure but most of these happened in the lower reach. The area of total MCBs experienced an increasing trend (2.77 km2/yr, p-value 0.01) over the last three decades. The extra-large MCBs gained the largest area increasing rate than the other sizes of MCBs. Small MCBs tended to become relatively round, whereas the others became elongate in shape after TGD operation. Impacts of TGD operation generally diminished in the longitudinal direction from TGD to Hankou and from TGD to Jiujiang for shape and area dynamics, respectively. The quantified longitudinal and temporal dynamics of MCBs across the entire Yangtze River downstream of TGD provides a crucial monitoring basis for continuous investigation of the changing mechanisms affecting the morphology of the Yangtze River system.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:88813
Uncontrolled Keywords:Landsat images, Remote sensing, Time series analysis, Three Gorges Dam, Dam effects, Geomorphic dynamics, River bar, River island


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