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Analysis of changes in characteristics of flood and sediment yield in typical basins of the Yellow River under extreme rainfall events
- Zhao, Yang, Cao, Wenhong, Hu, Chunhong, Wang, Yousheng, Wang, Zhaoyan, Zhang, Xiaoming, Zhu, Bisheng, Cheng, Chen, Yin, Xiaolin, Liu, Bing, Xie, Gang
- Catena 2019 v.177 pp. 31-40
- basins, flood control, governance, prediction, probability, rain, rivers, runoff, sediment transport, sediment yield, sediments, soil, water conservation, watersheds, Yellow River
- The future trend of water and sediment variation is closely related to the governance of the Yellow River. The increasingly frequent occurrence of extreme rainfall events has rendered the future water and sediment situation of the Yellow River uncertain. Understanding the characteristics of flood and sediment yield of the river basin under extreme rainfall conditions at different times is a prerequisite and foundation for accurate prediction of water and sediment situation in the Yellow River in the future period. We here used the July 26 extraordinary rainstorm event in 2017 in the Wuding River as a starting point for revealing the law of flood and sediment yields changes under extreme rainfall conditions around the year 2000. The results indicated that, during the period from 1960 to 2016, the average proportion of extreme rainfall depth in the middle Yellow River region over the total precipitation depth increased by 5.1%. Areas where extreme rainfall events frequently occur showed a trend of developing from localized regions in the Toudaoguai–Longmen reach to the majority of the middle reaches. There were obvious changes in the rainfall-flood and rainfall-sediment relations under extreme rainfall conditions. Compared with historical extreme rainfall events, the decline in flood and sediment yield in the river basin after 2000 under similar rainfall and intensity conditions was obvious. Among these results, flood decreased by 30.4–78.2%, sediment yield was decreased by 53.0–88.2% and sediment content in flood was decreased by >47.2% on average when compared with the same rainfall conditions in the previous century. Comparative watershed studies showed that, during extreme rainfall events, areas under soil and water loss management programs suffer 57.2% and 75.7% less flood runoff modulus and sediment transport modulus, respectively, than non-managed areas. This indicates that soil and water loss management is the major driving factor for changes in rainfall-flood and rainfall-sediment relations under extreme rainfall conditions. This study highlights the importance of soil and water loss management in the flood control and sediment reduction. We concluded that, with the implementation of soil and water conservation measures, the probability of large flood and sediment events will greatly decrease and the amount of sediment entering the Yellow River under extreme rainfall will further decrease in the next 30 years.