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Complex response of alluvial river morphology to changing climate-hydrology-vegetation in the river source region(2016)

Date: 2017-06-09      View counts: 5612    


CHEN Dong Ph.D. Professor

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS


Climate change in recent decades has altered the surface hydrological processes in the source region of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers. This is especially so where the groundwater-level decline caused by the thawing of permafrost has resulted in severe grass-land degradation and desertification. Accumulative variations in the hydrology, vegetation cover, and soil characteristics in the source region ultimately trigger a substantial change in the morphology of alluvial channels serving as the carrier of the surface water. Such morphological changes not only alter the capability of the channels in conveying water, sediment, and biogenic matters, but also potentially hazard the habitats in riparian zones and oxbow lakes,which could cause serial eco-environmental consequences. Based on the recently developed bank erosion and river evolution models, this study will apply a multi-approach analysis including remote sensing, field observation, laboratory experiments, and numerical models to investigate the complex response of river morphology to the changing climate-hydrology-vegetation and assess the ecological consequences of these morphological changes.

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