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Title: Recent changes of water discharge and sediment load in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Basin, China
Authors: Zhang, S. 
Lu, X.X. 
Higgitt, D.L. 
Chen, C.-T.A.
Han, J.
Sun, H.
Keywords: abrupt change
gradual trend
sediment load
the Zhujiang (Pearl River)
time series analysis
water discharge
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Zhang, S., Lu, X.X., Higgitt, D.L., Chen, C.-T.A., Han, J., Sun, H. (2008). Recent changes of water discharge and sediment load in the Zhujiang (Pearl River) Basin, China. Global and Planetary Change 60 (3-4) : 365-380. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The paper is concerned with identifying changes in the time series of water and sediment discharge of the Zhujiang (Pearl River), China. The gradual trend test (Mann-Kendall test), and abrupt change test (Pettitt test), have been employed on annual water discharge and sediment load series (from the 1950s-2004) at nine stations in the main channels and main tributaries of the Zhujiang. Both the Mann-Kendall and Pettitt tests indicate that water discharge at all stations in the Zhujiang Basin showed no significant trend or abrupt shift. Annual water discharges are mainly influenced by precipitation variability, while the construction of reservoirs/dams in the Zhujiang Basin had little influence on water discharge. Sediment load, however, showed significant decreasing trends at some stations in the main channel of the Xijiang and Dongjiang. More stations have seen significantly decreasing trends since the 1990s. The decreasing sediment load in the Zhujiang reflects the impacts of reservoir construction in the basin. In contrast, the Liujiang, the second largest tributary of the Xijiang, has experienced a significant upward shift of sediment load around 1991 likely caused by exacerbated rock desertification in the karst regions. The annual sediment load from the Zhujiang (excluding the delta region) to the estuary has declined from 80.4 × 106 t averaged for the period 1957-1995 to 54.0 × 106 t for the period 1996-2004. More specifically, the sediment load declined steadily since the early 1990s so that in 2004 it was about one-third of the mean level of pre-90s. Water discharge and sediment load of the Zhujiang would be more affected by human activities in the future with the further reservoir developments, especially the completion of the Datengxia hydroelectric project, and an intensification of the afforestation policy in the drainage basin. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Global and Planetary Change
ISSN: 09218181
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.04.003
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