Journal article

Will river erosion below the Three Gorges Dam stop in the middle Yangtze?

X Lai, D Yin, BL Finlayson, T Wei, M Li, W Yuan, S Yang, Z Dai, S Gao, Z Chen



The environmental impact of the Three Gorges Dam has been a subject of vigorous academic, political and social debate since its inception. This includes the key issue of post-dam river channel erosion, which was predicted by the feasibility study to extend to the river mouth. In this paper we examine the geomorphic response of the channel of the middle Yangtze for 660 km downstream of the dam. Using data on channel characteristics, bed material and sediment transport, we show that in the decade following the dam closure, pre-dam seasonal erosion has been replaced by year-round erosion, a pattern most marked at the upstream end of the study area. The sediment carrying capacity of the river ch..

View full abstract


Awarded by National Natural Science Foundation of China

Awarded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation

Awarded by SKLEC

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by SKLEC-2017TASK01, National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41606109), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2015M581564).